The caveat is that they'll be all-electric and will arrive by 2026.
Bentley Motors CEO Adrian Hallmark claims that future electric Bentleys, the first of which will arrive by 2026, will have twice the power of the current W12 models.
Hallmark told Autocar that all Bentleys will go electric by 2030, with five battery-powered models launching by then. "They will happen to be electric, but all the traditional qualities will go up another notch. What's more, our new powertrains will have between 50% and 100% more power than we currently offer, so the performance will be there."
Bentley V8s and W12s are some of the most characterful engines out there, so many are fearful that future Bentleys won't be as charismatic as the current crop. Traditional customers may see this as the end of an era, but Hallmark believes loyal customers are on board with the idea of battery-powered Bentleys.
"Our surveys tell us that around 70% of customers expect us to build them an all-electric Bentley within five years," said Hallmark.
Hallmark says there's a rational and emotional side to Bentley customers. As many owners live in big cities and use their cars every day, customers are accepting of electric vehicles and see the various benefits they offer. They realize that even if combustion-engined vehicles are available in the near future, they will probably be faced with extra costs and restrictions that may hinder where they may travel.
As for the emotional side, that's for the engineers and designers to figure out. Hallmark says the new electric Bentley motorcars will rewrite the rule book in terms of the ownership experience. "The latest-generation Bentley Continental GT is an excellent example of how things will go. The Conti's design, proportions, interior, and dynamics all set new standards - and the next-generation cars will do it again."
If they look anything like the gorgeous EXP 100 GT concept that was first revealed in 2019, we're fully on board.
On the battery front, Bentley's CEO says future EVs from Crewe will have "two degrees of freedom" not enjoyed by regular vehicles. Sophisticated battery technology will provide cars with a range of 350 - 450 miles and "a rapid-charging time from 10% to 80% in less than 20 minutes." Described as the W12 of batteries, the new pack will offer the same range as the current ICE-powered models.
So what can we expect future Bentleys to look like? When the Batur was introduced, Bentley said it previews its future design language. The range will be the same as it is now. The Bentayga, Continental GT and GTC, and Flying Spur will all form part of the future lineup. There's no word yet on the fifth model, but we're hoping it's the EXP mentioned above - it would be the perfect rival for the Spectre, Rolls-Royce's first-ever electric vehicle.
Hallmark said that the stately size of Bentley cars will remain but may change a little to accommodate the aerodynamic design. "Our job is to build Bentleys not BEVs with Bentley badges attached."
Bentley has some experience electrifying vehicles, with the Flying Spur Hybrid and Bentayga Hybrid pairing an electric motor with a V6 engine.
These hybrid models blessed Bentley with even more robust sales. Last year, the company sold more than 15,000 cars across the globe. Hallmark believes the fully-electric models will see the company reach even greater heights, with the CEO expecting production volume to grow closer to 20,000. Despite this, the company will not chase volume - after all, Bentley is about exclusivity.
Even in the electric era, performance is essential to the brand. Future hybridized V6 models will reportedly be even more potent that the Speed variants available today.
"We've made Bentley a successful, self-financing company, and now the job is to polish the diamond. We must enjoy the end of the non-BEV phase - I keep telling people we still have around 55,000 of those cars still to build - and then we must be ready for the big technology change," said Hallmark.
With Bentley, Hallmark aims to create the world's "most successful luxury car company." The CEO notes that the time has come to stop looking at Ferrari - which is one of the strongest-performing luxury automotive brands. "We want them looking at us, and I'd say we're getting closer to that. It's our mission over the next few years."
The company's first fully-electric car was supposed to arrive in 2025, but the vehicle was pushed back by a year. Bentley claims this has nothing to do with the Cariad-related issues that delayed several other VW Group EVs, including Porsche's Macan EV.
This model will reportedly debut with incredible performance figures and is expected to hit 60 mph in a mere 1.5 seconds. Bentley isn't going after hypercars, though, with Hallmark explaining at the time that this is for "effortless overtaking performance from a huge amount of torque on demand."
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