What is it?
A very important and, indeed, significant car. It is the first step on the road towards Bentley’s stated goal of having a hybrid version of every car it sells by the end of 2023. It looks just like a normal Bentayga to such an extent that you need to go ferreting around to find a hybrid badge on the body and a new mode button in the interior before its true identity is revealed.
Or you could just look under the bonnet where instead of the 4.0-litre V8 and 6.0-litre W12 motors that have resided therein to date, you’ll find a little 3.0-litre V6, an engine that by one single cubic centimetre is the smallest ever to be fitted to a Bentley. It’s an Audi motor but you’ll find related versions in hybrid versions of the Porsche Panamera and Cayenne. The engine produces a very understressed 335bhp while the electric motor adds a further 126bhp – though, in the way of such things, they are not able both to produce peak power at the same time, so its maximum system output is 443bhp.
Not only is that a lot less power than we’re used to Bentleys wielding of late, it’s in a car that’s even heavier than those to which we’ve become accustomed. At 2626kg, if you want to find a Bentley that weighs more than that, you’ll need to look at the Mulsanne, and that not by much. Perhaps surprisingly, then, the stats are actually quite impressive: 0-62mph in 5.2sec may not scare a Lamborghini Urus off the road but, for most people, that and its 158mph top speed should more than suffice.
It offers a claimed all-electric range of 16 miles – though, in reality and decent weather, it’s likely to go further than that. You can also maintain battery levels while driving for when you encounter a low- or zero-emission zone in future. Unlike some cars and for certification reasons, you cannot actually charge the battery from the engine.