Bentley is now planning to (eventually) release an all-electric car, according to reports. This means that Bentley is now the fourth VW Group brand to make such an announcement in recent times (in addition to Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche). Considering the stellar environmental reputation of the group in recent times, I wonder why.
The news is coming to us via an interview conducted with a Bentley board member by the name of Rolf Frech (in charge of engineering) by the Australian site Drive.com — apparently at a launch event for the Bentayga SUV.
It’s worth a reminder here that, despite the recent announcements, none of the companies mentioned above will be launching electric vehicles anytime before 2018 (at the earliest). So take this all with a grain of salt.
Frech was quoted as saying, though, that: “A fully-electric Bentley will become part of the company’s future product range. Of course electric will be a future strategy direction for Bentley.” So, presumably, the company sees the writing on the wall, even if it might try to put the inevitable off for a while.
Green Car Reports provides more:
It remains unclear whether an electric Bentley would be a sporty coupe — along the lines of its foundational Continental GT, but perhaps even a two-seater — or a sleeker four-door sedan that would line up more closely against today’s Tesla Model S.
An electric Bentley would likely share much of the underpinnings of Porsche’s upcoming all-electric performance sedan, previewed last fall by the Mission E concept shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Frech confirmed as much, saying that the brand could draw on the Mission E platform but also bring a lot of its components into a future electric Bentley.
If the British luxury brand chooses to go the coupe route, Frech hinted that such a car might resemble the two-seat Speed 6 concept shown last spring at the Geneva Motor Show.
Which would likely put the offering up against the Tesla Roadster revamp, which is expected to follow on the release of the Model 3 in 2017/2018. How closely is currently unknown though, so if Bentley was serious it could probably beat the revamp to the market.. Something tells me that it isn’t particularly serious though.