Bentayga hybrid presents new challenges for Bentley

DETROIT — The coming Bentley Bentayga plug-in hybrid is presenting some new challenges for the storied luxury brand.

Dealers will have to make infrastructure adjustments to accommodate the brand’s first electrified vehicle, while learning how to match the plush crossover with the right consumers, Adrian Hallmark, CEO of Bentley Motors, told Automotive News after a speech during the publication’s World Congress event here.

The hybrid Bentayga, slated to arrive this year, uses Porsche’s V-6 plug-in hybrid technology. The powertrain combines a 3.0-liter V-6 engine with an electric motor that gives the crossover an all-electric range of 31 miles.

Bentley plans to have electrified variants for each of its models by 2025.

“It’s really infrastructure. It’s a very small problem, but it’s new for us,” Hallmark said after his speech. “Every dealer has to have a high-voltage protected area. They have to have charging systems. Same with us in the factory.”

Hallmark said Bentley doesn’t want to sell hybrids to customers who think they’re going to drive a few miles every day using only electricity, without ever having to exert the combustion engine.

The battery technology, he said, is there to boost performance in acceleration constantly. One of the tasks for Bentley dealerships is ensuring that salespeople and customers understand exactly how the Bentayga works at its best.

“We always keep power in reserve, and it’s to give you an amount of emissions-free driving when you’re in the city. But it’s not a 30-mile everyday, full-electric commuter.”

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