The rise of the EV unlocks a world of new opportunities.
What's the best part about an electric drivetrain? Some might leap immediately to the obvious. They are, whether we gearheads like it or not, cleaner than gas-powered cars. They also allow for far more legroom for passengers on account of their "skateboard" layout. Of course, there's also the noise to consider, or rather, the lack thereof, and while this may not be a pro for some types of vehicles, for others, it's an absolute boon.
Rolls-Royce figured that out a while ago. Electric powertrains are uniquely well suited to luxury cars for nearly all the reasons above. How better to make a car more luxurious than having it be supremely quiet and isolated from the bothers of day-to-day life? That's why the Rolls-Royce Spectre exists. And now that's why the newest Bentley will exist.
Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark recently spoke to Autocar, hinting at the brand's electrified future. More specifically, Hallmark hinted at the future of the Bentley Mulsanne. "We've dropped out of the Mulsanne segment and that is something, if we look at the market, that is still attractive to us. It's part of our historic strength to work in that segment."
We know the Crewe-based luxury marque is headed for an all-electric future by 2030, and the Mulsanne seems to be an ideal candidate to enter that future with. It would also be a great way to take the fight to the Spectre. Though Bentley didn't specifically acknowledge the Rolls EV, it'd be out of its mind not to bring forth a competitor. Previously, the Mulsanne was a luxury sedan, but it has been suggested it may morph into more of an ultra-luxury GT when revived, matching Bentley's promise to us last year that its cars are driver's cars first and foremost.
Bentley's first EV will sit on a chassis co-developed with VW and Audi. Thereafter, the platform will be used across several electric Bentley models over the coming years. Unlike the MLB platform that underpinned previous iterations of the Continental GT, Hallmark said that "with this [new] generation of car, right from the outset we've been involved to ensure the specification that Bentley needs. I can't emphasize enough how much of a breakthrough this is. It's a game-changer."
However, Hallmark pointed out the march towards electrification of the luxury brand will take time. The first several models will use that common architecture, but Hallmark didn't specify how quickly advancements to the platform will begin to roll out, saying only that they will be coming. At the very least, we imagine Bentley is looking to bring back a two or four-door Mulsanne to compete with the Spectre as a sort of halo car for the brand's electric age.