Offering an early look at the automaker's first plug-in hybrid system, the Bentley Hybrid Concept will debut at Auto China 2014 in Beijing. Although this initial plug-in system is in a specially modified version of the firm's top-line Mulsanne sedan, the first production model to the hybrid option will be Bentley's new and yet-unnamed luxury SUV set to go on sale in 2017.
"There is no doubt that plug-in hybrid technology is true to Bentley's values of outstanding luxury and effortless performance," noted Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors. While offering no mechanical specifics at this time, he indicated the new system will crank out up to 25 percent more power than the 505-horse/6.8-liter twin-turbo V8 used in the current Mulsanne and trim CO2 emissions levels by 70 percent without any compromise to driving refinement or capability. The Bentley setup also promises up to 31 miles of pure electric range.
"Combining our renowned engines with electric power reinforces and enhances both principles, and so we will gradually introduce this powertrain across our model range," Schreiber added. "By the end of the decade, at least 90% of our production will be available as a plug-in hybrid."
To reinforce its electrically enhanced character, the Bentley Hybrid Concept features a host of copper accents throughout. On the exterior, this vein-like detailing appears on the headlamps, radiator shell bezel, lower body, brake calipers and badges. Inside, the motif features additional copper inserts on the handcrafted veneer fascias, switchgear surrounds and instruments as well as in distinctive copper cross-stitching on the Mulliner Driving Specification diamond-quilted upholstery.
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