Bentley has taken the covers off two new versions of its Bentayga SUV at the Geneva motor show. The entry-level V8 petrol unit complements the existing diesel and W12 versions, while the new plug-in hybrid 4x4 is intended to appeal to people who are environmentally conscious but still want to heave around in the biggest thing on the road.
Electric-only range on a 2.5-hour charge of the new Bentayga is just over 30 miles, and the official CO2 rating on the NEDC test is 75g/km, proving you can transport your cake in comfort and eat it. The drivetrain is borrowed from the Porsche Panamera e-Hybrid, so like its German cousin, petrol power comes from a 2.9-litre V6.
There are the usual Bentley refinements on board the new car – luxury interior, quiet ride, removable tablets in the back for passengers, that sort of thing. A number of Hybrid-specific touches can be found on the SUV – styling flourishes finished in copper include the wheel centres and Hybrid badges on the front, back and side of the car.
The eco-friendlier model is expected to cost more than the £135,000 diesel version of the car, and if you want to go the extra mile you can order a Philippe Starck-designed charging point that Bentley will have installed at your house as a stylish talking point. Bentley says that the eco-linen and aluminium creation will bring 'a luxurious touch to the act of hybrid recharging, acting as a functional piece of art that will enhance any home.' So there.
Bentley is being coy on performance numbers for the Hybrid, but we do know that the 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that was also unveiled today delivers 542bhp and 568lb ft of torque, launching it from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 180mph, which is remarkably fast for a four-wheel-drive luxury tank.
If you aren’t planning on taking your Bentayga onto a race track, the V8 can deactivate half of its cylinders in just 20 milliseconds, which helps the car cover 464 miles on a full tank of fuel via 24.8mpg. The ride will be silky smooth too thanks to Bentley Dynamic Ride – an electric active roll control technology that constantly adjusts to ensure maximum tyre contact with the road to improve ride quality and handling.