Come 2017, Bentley will put its first electric car on the market. At the Beijing International Automotive Show this weekend, the ultra-luxury brand revealed a concept car that showcases its “vision of a more powerful and even more efficient future.”
While the 2017 plug-in hybrid Bentley will be an SUV, the concept in Beijing is based on the flagship sedan, the Mulsanne. Apart from the copper styling elements (“to highlight the car’s electrical veins”), the concept looks just like the Mulsanne, and the photos don’t tell us much.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) combine the ability to run on electricity stored in a battery with an internal combustion engine. They usually offer an EV mode range of less than 40 miles, with the capability to drive more than 200 more miles on traditional gas power.
Research shows that customers would be interested, Bentley Sales and Marketing Director Kevin Rose told Business Insider at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The key is making it easy to use, “which is what we’re working on,” he said at the time.
The automaker say its plug-in hybrid system will generate 25% more power and cut emissions by 70% compared to a conventional Bentley. The concept will be able to drive 31 miles on electric power alone. By 2020, Bentley says, 90% of its models will be available as a plug-in hybrid.
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