Bentley follows through on previously announced plans to go electric by saying it will launch its first all-electric model in 2025.
The statement today is in line with a commitment made in 2019 to build Bentley's final internal-combustion engine in 2030.
Bentley affirmed its promise to go electric in a press conference today, but the plan to pivot to EVs is not brand-new. The British luxury brand first detailed its electrification plan in 2019 and said it would build its final combustion engine as soon as 2030. Now the company has moved forward on that schedule, saying it's planning to launch a pure EV in 2025 and will then another electric model to the portofolio for each of the following four years.
We will need to wait for further details on the new products, but Bentley head of engineering Matthias Rabe told an online press conference today that each will be "a complete new car, a complete new model." Considering that the company currently only has four models—the Bentayga SUV, the Flying Spur sedan, and the Continental GT coupe and convertible—basic math suggests the entire family will effectively be replaced by full EVs sooner rather than later, and that an additional model will be added to the range.
Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark described this new model as a "game changer" without a direct relationship to an existing model; our bet is a sub-Bentayga crossover. Existing models will then be replaced by EV models as they reach the end of their lives, the promised launch cadence (and age of the existing lineup) suggesting these will be a new Bentayga in 2026, a Continental coupe in 2027, a Continental convertible in 2028, and a new Flying Spur in 2029.
Bentley's place within Volkswagen Group means we can safely predict these new electric models will share core technology with other high-end models in the family; we believe that the next-generation Porsche Cayenne will have an EV variant, which would be an obvious basis for a Bentley sister. The pace of Lamborghini's move toward electrification also seems to closely match Bentley's, suggesting some other obvious synergies. But Bentley has also confirmed that all the new cars will be both engineered and built at the company's existing factory in Crewe, England, with a $3.4 billion investment to both modernize and carbon-neutralize the plant. (Bentley also stated its intention to call the redone historic facility the "Dream Factory.")
While the full EVs are likely to win most of the attention, Bentley has also dropped hints that we could see more powerful plug-in hybrids before it gives up on combustion altogether. We know that a hybridized version of the Continental is approaching, but Rabe also promised "much more powerful" PHEVs in the medium term. Given that Bentley's two plug-ins use V-6 power from elsewhere in the group, this suggests a possible addition of the brawnier V-8 system from the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, an engine Lamborghini insiders have told us will be used in the next Urus.
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