The British firm has ruled out a sub-Bentayga SUV in favour of a sports car for its first EV, set for production in 2019
Rachel Burgess
14 September 2017

The first all-electric Bentley, which could go into production in two years, will be a medium-sized sports car. It wil be the fifth model in the brand's line-up.

Bentley boss Wolfgang Durheimer has previously told Autocar that the decision for the fifth model was between a SUV to sit below the Bentayga or a two-seater electric sports car based on the EXP12 Speed 6e concept shown at this year’s Geneva.

Asked at the Frankfurt motor show whether a decision had been made, Durheimer said: “What I can say is that a small SUV is no longer on the scheme. We’re favouring a car with a full electric powertrain.”

However, given that the model will share its platform with the upcoming – and larger – Porsche Mission E, it is thought that the electric sports car will be bigger than the EXP12 Speed 6e concept. 

Durheimer added: “We intend to be the leader in electrification in the luxury segment. We see that it fits into the Bentley scheme – low rev torque with seamless acceleration.”

Frankfurt motor show - live report and pictures

The Crewe-based company’s showed the electric two-seater roadster concept called the Bentley EXP12 Speed 6e at the Geneva motor show earlier this year. While the firm has ruled out making a production version of this car, it hints at the direction an electric Bentley sports car could take.

When first showing the EXP12 concept at Geneva, Bentley declined to give much away about a potential powertrain, but the instrument panel suggested a range of around 300 miles, along with a four-wheel-drive powertrain. That would likely include a pair of motors, one at the front of the car and one at the rear.

The concept was slightly larger than an Aston Martin V8 Vantage but a touch shorter than a Continental GT. It is understood a production Bentley EV would likely be slightly longer than the concept.

At Frankfurt, Dürheimer also confirmed that the firm would offer three plug-in hybrids - the already-confirmed Bentayga V6 plug-in hybrid, which will arrive first, as well as the Continental and Flying Spur.

Read more

Frankfurt motor show - live report and pictures

Electric EXP12 Speed 6e concept revealed

Volkswagen Group brands to offer electrified version of every model by 2030

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Comments
4

14 September 2017

Bentley produce the Continental family, so that's 1 model line up, then there's the Mulsanne which is No 2 and we have the Bentayga which is the 3rd model.

14 September 2017

Although that's really a Continental with 4 doors.  Which is really an Audi, let's face it.  So 4 and a half models?

14 September 2017
When it comes to current and upcoming pure electrics, we're saturated with luxury SUVs, crossovers, hatchbacks and saloons. What we're missing are sports cars, which is ironic given that the wave of modern EVs was started by a sports car.

EVs don't really have much in terms of sales volume just yet, so what's really needed are halo cars to show how fun the tech can be. That's also exactly the sort of thing Bentley's brand needs, so there's a perfect convergence there.

Just hope its looks can live up to the concept.

15 September 2017

Clearly Wolfgang has overlooked the fact that very high net worth individuals will not wish to be sat in an immovable object at the side of the road awaiting the arrival of roadside rescue services because, embarrassingly, for whatever reason, it failed to charge last night...  They will just buy a McLaren, a Ferrari, a TVR, an Aston Martin, an F-Type, a Ford GT or any other car that isn't pretending to be something it isn't.

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