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Bentley CEO Says Next Continental GT Will Go Electric

Technology / Comments

But it's still a decade away at least.

Just a few weeks ago, British luxury automaker Bentley revealed its first-ever production electrified vehicle at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show—the Bentayga Plug-In Hybrid. The year before at the same show, the British firm took the sheet off an all-electric concept called the EXP 12 Speed 6e, which wowed media and the public alike. It's expected to go into production at some point, too. Now, a third possible electric vehicle has entered the Bentley fray, according to CEO Adrian Hallmark, who believes its customers desire some green, do-gooder cred.

In an interview with Bloomberg (via CarScoops), Hallmark explained its not in Bentley's best interest to ignore electrification for the future. "There is a new dimension long-term in the purchase decision—the ethical value," Hallmark explained. "Electrification is part of it, and electrification isn't going away." To give the rich what they desire, Bentley plans to make an electric version of the next Continental GT. "We already know that the [next version] will be a battery electric vehicle," he says. "It will have all of those moral and ethical benefits with it. By not going that way, even if we don't have to, we would be massively under-performing in terms of customer potential." Still, it's likely more than a decade away.

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Bentley revealed a new Continental GT midway through last year. It will continue to be powered by a gasoline-fed W12 engine and there likely isn't any room within its platform to fit the equipment required to turn it into a full EV, though it will gain a hybrid variation later in its lifecycle as Bentley has vowed to offer an electrified version of all its vehicles by 2025. For now, the Continental GT will crank out 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque the old-fashioned way—by burning a copious amount of fossil fuel.