Bentley will add aplug-in hybrid to the company’s lineup in the coming years, but, despite the interest in offering a green, more fuel-efficient variant, Bentley says it remains committed to offering 12-cylinder flagship models as well.
Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer stated in a recent interview with Car and Driver, that 12-cylinder engines would continue to make up the majority of Bentley models. He said 12-cylinder units would remain in Bentley’s lineup for a long time to come, saying the layout “will become one of the cornerstones in the brand profile. A 12-cylinder engine is a sexy engine.”
However, in order to reduce the company’s overall average emissions, it needs to offer some kind of dramatic powertrain change and the plug-in hybrid seems the right choice. The CEO confirmed a plug-in version that would use technology developed under the Volkswagen Group umbrella as being part of the future plans.
“We’re lucky we are involved in a group that has technology in every corner. Every single technology that is available in the group is available to us.”
Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer also said the luxury brand wouldn’t bother with a conventional hybrid, but target a plug-in hybrid with a full-electric range of around 30km. “Maybe in 20 years we will cover 100 km [62 miles]. For the time being, we won’t because nobody can afford the batteries and nobody wants to carry them around.”
“We will jump over the first generation of hybrids and start with the plug-in hybrids.”
Speaking about a possible diesel Bentley, the CEO said diesel engines would have to become more refined before the company was likely to adopt that style of engine.
“I wouldn’t reject diesel. If you look at the torque curve of the 6.75-liter V-8, this is what we can have on [the diesel] side as well. If the new-generation diesels make no smoke, no noise, this matches perfectly with the demands of a Bentley, so why shouldn’t we take it? In Europe and some countries . . . [a very large] percent of new registrations are diesels.”
Pictured: 2012 Bentley Continental GTC