The brand is already eyeing a number we never imagined.
Electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S Plaid have entirely redefined our definitions of rapid acceleration. Before, a Nissan GT-R cracking 60 mph in under three seconds was considered blistering, but now we're rapidly being conditioned to believe the 0-60 time needs to have a one as the first number. While we believe this never-ending search for quicker acceleration is completely pointless, Bentley seems to be ready to meet customer demands.
Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark said its first all-electric model will boast 1,400 horsepower and a 1.5-second 0-60 mph time. For reference, a Bentley Continental GT Speed currently produces 650 hp from its twin-turbo W12 with a 3.5-second 0-60 time.
We are talking about more than twice the power and less than half the time needed to hit 60 mph. Hallmark believes acceleration won't be the selling point of Bentley's EVs despite these wild claims. "For us, it would not be the brutality of acceleration that can define us, [but rather] effortless overtaking performance from a huge amount of torque on demand," he explained. "Most people enjoy the 30-70 mph acceleration."
Hallmark realizes that as EVs become quicker, consumers will be completely unaccustomed to the acceleration. "If we're [at] 650 hp now with GT Speed, we will be double that with the BEV," Hallmark said. "But from a 0 to 60 mph point of view, there are diminishing returns. The problem is, it's uncomfortable. And then it just becomes nauseous."
To make sure owners don't get sick, which is crucial for a Bentley, Hallmark says the upcoming EV will offer two different acceleration modes. "You can have 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds. Or it can be switched to 1.5 seconds," he detailed.
The Mulsanne started at $310,800, more than any current Bentley model. If Hallmark's latest claims are to be believed, this EV will be worth the wait.