Bentley’s board member in charge of engineering Rolf Frech made a statement at the launch of the Bentayga SUV in Palm Springs. He said that the company is planning on making a fully electric car to take on Tesla.
According to Electrek, there is no excuse for premium automakers to not have an all-electric vehicle in their line-up. These days the batteries are cheap enough, so the luxury automakers can use large battery packs to compete with cars that have internal combustion engines. The British automaker, Bentley, is under control of the Volkswagen group, which plans to launch 25 electric cars by 2025. It is surprising that the Bentley brand would join the effort.
Instead of taking an existing model and converting it to electric, Bentley will introduce their first electric vehicle with a brand new model. It will be an SUV smaller than the Bentayga. Bentley Bentayga starts at $230,000, the new electric SUV is expected to have a similar starting price. Bentley’s move towards electrification can help the other more popular brands in the Volkswagen group. Volkswagen’s other brands are also releasing all-electric SUVs.
Audi has the e-Tron Quattro, Porsche has Cayenne SUV, and Lamborghini plans to release a plug-in version of the upcoming Urus. All of these vehicles are expected to be available in the next 2-3 years. Bentley, on the other hand, should not be available at least until 2020.
Business Insider reported that Bentley will borrow most of the hardware, the batteries, and electric motors from Porsche Mission E model. According to Rolf Frech, it will be clearer in the next six months if Bentley wants to pursue with building an electric car. On top of that, Speed 6 concept can also be a contender for Bentley’s first fully electric vehicle as well. Its low center of gravity and instantaneous punch offered by such a platform fits the character of future Bentley sports car. Either way, Rolf Frech confirmed that the next-generation Continental GT, as well as the flagship Mulsanne limousine, will be offered with some form of electric assistance.