05 May 2021: Bentley to launch its first electric car in 2025
Marking the beginning of its journey toward an electric vehicle (EV)-only future, Bentley has started working on an e-SUV which will be launched in 2025.
The car will be built in collaboration with Audi and shall be based on Volkswagen Group's Artemis platform.
Meanwhile, plug-in hybrid versions of the Flying Spur and Continental GT are expected to be launched later this year.
Plans: 'Need to find the best way to fast-track electrification'
Speaking to carmagazineuk.com, CEO of Bentley Motors, Adrian Hallmark said, "Looking forward to electrification, we're going to have closer synergies with Audi."
"But we will continue to have strong relationships with both Audi and Porsche, and we see this as an opportunity. No question - we are electrifying. And we need to find the best way to fast-track that, and to lead technology charge."
Goals: 'BEVs are perfect for Bentley'
When asked about potential challenges in bringing the EV to life, Hallmark said, "2025 is the right time for us. Weight is a concern. But we are seeing rapid evolution in battery power density, and we are dedicated to making things lighter and more aerodynamic."
He also said that "battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) are right for Bentley; quiet, effortless, high torque, refined performance."
Official words: The brand's DNA will be evident in the upcoming EV
Hallmark noted that the upcoming EV will be defined by targets. "We tend to start with a design that's unbuildable, then work out how to build it. With EVs you have to do it the other way around."
"As we move into EVs, we're not going to throw away our brand DNA. But we have to reinterpret it and be a bit more progressive."
Other projects: Volkswagen will also unveil a self-driving EV in 2026
On a separate note, Bentley's parent company Volkswagen is working on a self-driving electric car called Project Trinity which will debut in 2026.
It will feature a new design language and shall be capable of Level 4 autonomous driving.
The first model is likely to carry a price-tag of around €35,000 (roughly Rs. 29.8 lakh) and it would be capable of ultra-fast charging.