Bentley expands hybrid lineup to Bentaya S and Azure models


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People often joke that buyers of ultra-luxury vehicles from Rolls-Royce and Bentley don’t care about gas prices, but even if that’s true, a lot of people still may not want to own the rolling embodiment of earth’s impending doom. Rolls-Royce will go all-electric by 2030, and its British rivals at Bentley are hard at work on the brand’s first EV, expected by 2025. In the meantime, the Brits at Bentley have come up with hybrid powertrains, and the automaker recently announced an expansion of hybrid options for its only SUV, the Bentayga. The automaker says that 100 percent of Bentayga Hybrid owners use their SUVs in full electric mode, with half staying within the vehicle’s electric range.

The Bentayga S and Azure are now available with hybrid powertrains, meaning half of Bentley’s lineup is electrified. Rather than focusing solely on improving efficiency, Bentley implemented a plug-in hybrid system that offers up to 27 all-electric miles of range, a 6-percent surge in power, and a 15-percent improvement in torque. The Bentayga S Hybrid, for example, delivers 455 horsepower. All Bentaygas get almost 300 pound-feet of torque just from the electric motor.

All Bentayga hybrids come with a 3.0-liter V6, and Bentley says that the S Hybrid can reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 5.3 seconds. The SUV got 15-percent stiffer dampers that shift damping force based on the selected drive mode, and Bentley says a new Hybrid Sports Exhaust “brings a stirring symphony of sound within the cabin.” It sounds a lot like fake engine noises to us, and Bentley notes that the sounds can be adjusted differently for front and rear passengers.

The Bentayga Azure Hybrid is a more luxury-focused variant that features intense noise-canceling technologies and unique interior touches to improve comfort and a sense of well-being. The Azure is up to 26-percent quieter than its rivals on the road, and Bentley says it tuned the SUV to deliver 27 percent fewer vibrations. Buyers can choose from 15 different interior materials and color combinations, and 22-inch 10-spoke wheels come standard.

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