But it won't be a sports car.
Bentley has already outlined plans to belatedly enter the EV market, but details about its first fully electric model have been kept under wraps. However, the automaker will only launch an EV when battery tech has significantly improved, according to CEO Adrian Hallmark, who said that battery cell density needs to be increased to power an ultra-luxury Bentley.
"The problem is when you get to our segment with the size of our vehicles and the frontal area we push through, current battery power density limits the size of the car you can offer with credible driving range," Hallmark told Automotive News. How long will we potentially have to wait for a fully electric Bentley to arrive, then? The CEO believes the technology won't be good enough for Bentley until around 2023 to 2025. "There is nothing industrialized in the supply chain before then," he said.
While we were hoping the exquisite EXP 12 Speed 6e concept shown at Geneva last year would preview an upcoming Bentley electric sports car, Hallmark confirmed the brand's first EV will not be a sports car. "We have talked about sports cars in the past, but I don't believe we need sports cars," he said. "Within the Volkswagen Group [Bentley's owner], there are enough sports cars."
The CEO didn't say what body style Bentley's first electric car will be but said it would "redefine grand touring" with a long electric driving range. "When we build an electric car it will be a Bentley first and foremost, and it will be an electric Bentley second," he said.
Future Bentley EVs could use the Premium Platform Electric architecture currently being developed by Porsche and Audi. The first electric vehicle that will ride on this new platform is expected to launch in 2021. Audi has said the PPE will enable three body styles, including an SUV and a limousine, but VW Group hasn't yet decided if Bentley can utilize the platform.