It seems the 6¾ litre V8 Bentley Mulsanne Hybrid – which debuted at the Beijing Motor Show – isn’t the only Bentley engine that will benefit from a hybrid powertrain.
With car makers increasingly hidebound by ever more stringent economy targets, even makers of the world’s most expensive, luxury cars are having to play ball.
It seems the Bentley hybrid solution – which is claimed to increase power by 25 per cent and improve emissions and economy by 70 per cent – is very similar to that used across the VW Group range, with an electric motor between the engine and transmission fed by a bank of batteries.
Although it seemed a bit odd that Bentley chose to debut its hybrid powertrain on the ancient 6¾ litre V8 – rather than the twin-turbo V8 in the ‘VW Range’ of Bentleys - it seems that was just to demonstrate the hybrid’s flexibility.
Speaking to Cars & Driver, outgoing Bentley CEO Wolfgang Schreiber said the hybrid setup is in fact very flexible, scalable and compatible with different engines, although (oddly) he said adding it to the W12 defeats the plug-in’s mission to save fuel (we’d have though it was just as valid as on the 6¾ litre V8, and an extra 25 per cent power wouldn’t be too shabby either).
But with the promise that 90 per cent of Bentley models will have the option of hybrid power in the next five years – with the new Bentley SUV the first in 2016 – it’s clear Bentley are planning to offer the option on the 6¾ litre V8, the twin-turbo V8 and the W12.
All with more power, better economy and the ability to run in EV mode for up to 30 miles