Imagine a world where chauffeurs only drove EVs.
Things are looking pretty damn good for Bentley right about now. Its new Bentayga SUV is a smash hit, with customer demand forcing the automaker to increase production. Bentley also looks set to enter the supercar market with its new EXP 10 Speed 6 coupe. Hopefully that name is shortened by the time production comes around. In addition to finally joining the SUV and supercar frays the automaker is turning an eye towards electrification. Some of its plan was shared in a recent interview with Australia’s Drive.com and now Car and Driver has more details.
In that last interview, Bentley chief engineer Rolf Frech talked about how the upcoming Porsche Mission E could potentially lend its platform to the project. Frech further elaborated on that idea to Car and Driver, making it clear that Porsche’s tech isn’t the only option. “On the EV side, it’s more about what components are available and what are fitting best to the car we want. We will not copy the Mission E, we will do it in a typically Bentley way. The question we always ask is what is available in the group—it’s not only the Mission E, there are other possibilities around.” Bentley is part of the Volkswagen Group, meaning it has access to tech developed by not only Porsche but also Audi, Lamborghini and even Bugatti.
Volkswagen is many pricing tiers below Bentley but there could still be some pilfering of the parts bin. Frech was also asked about the electric Bentley being a standalone model or a variation of an existing one, and he replied saying both options are possibilities. Bentley is also prepared to offer some form of electrical assistance on all its models to keep up with the times (and emissions laws). So, what type of car will Bentley's first EV be? Frech didn't give an answer to that question exactly but did say that it will likely be a vehicle for those looking to be driven around. So you can forget about the idea of a two-door Bentley EV drag racing with the Tesla Model S.
If you’re worried that an electric Bentley would provide an awful driving experience, don’t. Frech has you covered. “Going on the [accelerator], you will have the feeling of the torque, but no other response. We have to make sure it is emotional, it has the appeal. That even in the future it will still be a great experience to drive a Bentley.” What we’re really excited about is the possibility of Bentley and Rolls-Royce racing to create the world’s first ultra-luxury EV. If only Rolls-Royce cared to compete.