Bentley Hybrid Concept

The plug-in hybrid system will offer a power increase of up to 25% together with a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions, both without any compromise to the exquisite luxury and powerful performance for which Bentley has become renowned.

1/21/15 4:00 am chumakdenis 1

The details are still a little scarce on the hybrid concept, but Bentlry did let us in on a few details. We know that the hybrid drivetrain will carry the same 6.75-liter V-8 gas burner as the base model, but with electric motors added to boost fuel economy and output, while decreasing CO2 emissions. According to Bentley, this drivetrain bumps fuel economy up by 25 percent and guts CO2 by 70 percent.

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What’s more, this drivetrain is in Bentley’s future plans, and it will slowly make its way into every Bentley vehicle.

Exterior

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The most notable of changes are copper highlights strewn about the outside, including inside the headlights, on the radiator shell bezel, on the brake calipers and on the cross stitching on the front grilles.

The hybrid concept looks like your run-of-the-mill Mulsanne, but there are a few subtle differences that stand out. The most notable of changes are copper highlights strewn about the outside, including inside the headlights, on the radiator shell bezel, on the brake calipers and on the cross stitching on the front grilles. Rounding out the copperizing of the hybrid concept is a copper strip above the trimming that runs around the lower-third of the car, the center caps on the wheels and the "Hybrid" badges on the fenders.

Other than the sleek copper highlights, which really make the concept pop, the rest of the car is a plain-Jane Mulsanne.

Interior

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Drivetrain

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Bentley dove into some details on the drivetrain without giving up too much. This plug-in hybrid increases fuel efficiency by 25 percent and reduces CO2 emissions by a whopping 70 percent. This would put the fuel economy of the hulking 6.75-liter engine under the Mulsanne’s hood at 14 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, which isn’t too bad fir this massive sedan. Bentley didn’t say anything about the final output of this drivetrain, but the base engine produces 505 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque, and we would expect the hybrid system to bump this to about 515 horsepower and 760 pound-feet. On top of more power and better fuel economy, this hybrid concept can travel 50 km (22 miles) on electric power alone.

The transmission likely remains the same eight-speed auto from the current Mulsanne and it should remain rear-wheel drive.

Price

Bentley has plans to develop this drivetrain for its entire range, and I suspect the Mulsanne version would see about a $25,000 premium on this drivtrain. This would put the Mulsanne at nearly $330,000.

Any competitors?

There is no hybrid, premium luxury sedan on the market today, so we’ll have to focus on the gasoline-powered rival to the Mulsanne: the recently refreshed, 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Under the Ghost’s hood is a 6.6-liter, V-12 powerplant that puts down 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. Though it has four more cylinders to feed, the Ghost is not too far off from the hybrid concept in fuel economy, as it gets 13 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

On the outside, the Ghost is showing its age, despite a refresh, but then again, so is the Mulsanne. In terms of luxury, the two models are equally matched, as they both have enough goodies to keep top-level executives happy for a long, long time.

The Ghost comes in at $307,900, so the two are pretty evenly matched in terms of pricing.

Again, this is not a hybrid model, so trying to compare it to the hybrid concept is nearly impossible.

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Verdict

Luxury barges that hit 60 mph in under six seconds are insane, but they are the norm for today’s top executives. Now with gas prices shooting up and the Сorporate Average Fuel Economy(CAFE) standards looming, even Bentley has to start looking into boosting its fuel economy numbers. Distributing this drivetrain across its entire lineup seems logical and wise on Bentley’s behalf.

  luxurious electric vehicles hybrids plug-in hybrid vehicle bentley bentley hybrid concept

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