The ultra-luxurious Bentley brand may be on the verge of designing its very first electric vehicle. While today’s Bentley models, such as the Mulsanne and Continental, epitomize refinement, the company has noticed that its customer base may be looking towards future technologies when they purchase their next vehicles.
With the advent of Tesla and its subsequent domination of the electric car market, more and more automakers are racing to keep up with electric car technology. In the high luxury segment, however, these traditionally large and powerful vehicles may struggle to meet performance standards when paired with an electric motor.
According to reports from Rational Magazine, Adrian Hallmark, the CEO of Bentley, has publicly stated that he may be willing to explore an electric car concept for the brand. While an electric Bentley may be several years away from making its debut, luxury car enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating the next evolution of the Bentley. Here’s an overview of where Bentley technology stands today, what a future concept car may look like for the brand, and the challenges that could arise when Bentley chooses to build an electric vehicle.
Today’s Bentley models
The Bentley Mulsanne is a flagship of the Bentley brand. When this luxurious car appeared in 2010, fans of the automaker were in awe of this vehicle’s impressive stats and commanding stature. Today, the Mulsanne sports an impressive 6.75-liter V8 engine that kicks out 512 horsepower. While Bentley has made strides to improve the emissions and fuel economy rating of the Mulsanne, the vehicle achieves a relatively underwhelming 16 miles per gallon on the highway.
In 2019, Bentley has also debuted a fully reimagined version of the Continental touring car. The Continental has found a huge fan base among high profile public figures who aren’t afraid to flaunt their wealth.
Designed with classic grand touring cars in mind, the Continental delivers a smooth and luxurious ride. At a starting price of $225,000, the Continental is geared towards drivers who desire customization, premium features, and all of the bells and whistles. Its twin-charged W-12 engine delivers 626 horsepower. While the gas mileage ratings of the new Continental are yet to be released, it is safe to speculate that this vehicle also consumes a considerable amount of gas.
In early July of this year, Bentley officially announced its latest concept model: The EXP 100 GT. As Bentley celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, it has shown that it is able to keep up with modern automotive trends with the impressive suite of features that are sported by this luxury concept car.
While the edgy design and self-driving capabilities of this concept car garnered tons of attention, the Detroit News was also impressed by Bentley’s suggestion that the EXP 100 GT could be equipped with a fully electric drivetrain.
Rather than sacrificing power or speed, this fully electric motor would actually make the EXP the fastest vehicle in the Bentley lineup. This electric drivetrain would also be able to travel up to 435 miles between charging, which is close to Tesla’s Model S 100D, which has a range of 514 miles.
While news of the EXP 100 GT is exciting, fans may have to wait until 2025 before the car makes its official debut. Current car battery technology is very heavy, so Bentley may need to wait until electric car batteries become lighter and smaller before it is able to officially offer an electric vehicle. Once technology for electric vehicles meets Bentley’s discerning design standards, Bentley is sure to offer a luxurious grand touring model that is equipped with a cutting edge drivetrain.