One of the most important bullet points of Bentley's Beyond100 strategy talks about the company's first purely electric model. As part of a massive £2.5 billion investment, the EV is being designed and developed at home in Crewe where it's also going to be made. Originally, the zero-emissions model was supposed to come out in 2025, but CEO Adrian Hallmark has told Automotive News Europe the launch has been pushed back to 2026.
The luxury brand's boss says the delay is technically a "matter of months" rather than a full year. He told ANE the setback is not related to recent reports about parent company Volkswagen Group having major issues with the software of its forthcoming electric high-end products. Earlier this month, the German paper Automobilwoche wrote about how VW's software division Cariad is behind schedule with the Project Artemis that will spawn Audi, Porsche, and Bentley EVs.
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid Odyssean Edition
Reports state the problems Cariad is having have led to the fall of Herbert Diess from the helm of the VW Group. Last Friday, the automotive conglomerate announced Porsche CEO Oliver Blume would take over from September 1 while retaining his current role at the Zuffenhausen company. Automobilwoche believes Audi's first EV to ride on the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) has also been delayed, and it's now earmarked for a 2027 launch.
When the first Bentley without a combustion engine does eventually arrive, it will assume the role of a flagship model but won't serve as a Mulsanne replacement despite being similarly priced. One of the versions is going to cost over €250,000 (approx. £210,000), according to a previous statement made by Hallmark. It'll have around 1,400 bhp and go from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in a neck-snapping one and a half seconds.
Bentley's Five-in-Five plan calls for an additional four EVs to be launched by the end of the decade when the British marque aims to completely discontinue sales of vehicles powered by combustion engines.