Bentley has dipped its toes into the EV movement by beginning conceptual work on a new “saloon” that will hopefully be its first fully electric vehicle. Bentley hopes to establish global leadership in these areas by revealing its first EV by 2025.
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Bentley’s CEO Adrian Hallmark threw hints toward Autocar that their team has already created a solid vehicle by designing a car that is much like an extreme Jaguar I-PACE. It would be a machine that blends a traditional saloon shape with a higher-riding body style that would accommodate the battery pack without moving into the SUV-style design.
“If we’re to launch an electric car in the mid-2020s, then it either needs to be smaller than today’s cars or the same size but not as upright, and smaller isn’t an appealing solution, as it implies a lower price segment. The prediction is battery technology will have moved forward again by that date and that will put us at the edge of what we think we need to give customers: 300–350 miles of range, or enough to cruise at a 65mph average for five hours. We need to be looking at how we can deliver slippier cars with a profile that gets the most out of it aerodynamically in order to deliver on that promise,” he told Autocar.
Bentley hopes to build 11,000 to 12,000 cars annually in a global market of 85 million. Its goal is to lead in electrification in the luxury segment. Bentley’s Crew factory was also certified as carbon neutral in 2019, which shows that the luxury car company wants to go in the direction of sustainability. Last year, Bentley also unveiled the EXP 100 GT concept as a way to celebrate its centenary by looking forward to the next 100 years. The electric powertrain will use four 201–335 bhp electric motors and an advanced torque-vectoring system that will distribute a combined output of a range of 800 bhp and 1340 bhp to all four wheels.
In the next 5 years it will be interesting to see how automakers continue to follow the lead that Tesla has set when it comes to making EVs. It’s good to see Bentley joining the movement, even if their vehicle may not be here for a while.