Bentley have unveiled plans for their first ever hybrid model, with the Mulsanne Hybrid Concept potentially moving towards a far greener future for the esteemed car marque.
The first ever hybrid model from Bentley is set to be previewed at the Beijing Motor Show on 20 April, an event that is sure to garner huge attention from the motoring world. This eco-friendly approach looks to form a large part of the future for the firm, a theory backed up after Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley Chairman, confirmed that 90 per cent of the model range will be available in a hybrid version by 2020.
On first impressions, it is clear that the model is of course based on the current Mulsanne, although there are a number of clear aesthetic changes, including copper colouring on the brake calipers, headlights, door trims and interior dials. It’s thought that these colour changes have been implemented to highlight the car’s electric veins.
The switch to hybrid power will provide a 25 per cent power increase compared to a standard Mulsanne, which, when combined with the reported 70 per cent reduction in emissions (118g/km), is sure to raise eyebrows from key figures across the motor industry. It means that the model will possess somewhere in the region of 625bhp under foot thanks to the 6752cc twin-turbocharged V8 engine, so while passengers are sure to travel in style, they will be reaching their destination far quicker than previously.
With this new power source, it’s believed that the Bentley Mulsanne Hybrid Concept will be capable of travelling up to 31 miles on electric alone. Apart from this, further details about the new car are few and far between, with Bentley likely to confirm further information on the power source at the official unveiling.
Named after the famous straight of the same name at the Le Sarthe race course in France, the Mulsanne has been a standout performer in the Bentley fleet ever since it was first unveiled back in 1980. Combining incredible raw power with the height of comfort, it was designed to epitomise the spirit of the company and the 6.75L V8 the original sported could reach 119mph. While production of the original Mulsanne ceased in 1992, the name was resurrected in 2010 to serve as a suitable replacement to the Bentley Arnage.
The 2010 Bentley Mulsanne was the first flagship model to be produced in more than 80 years. After W.O Bentley’s V8 model in 1930, most of the models shared platforms with many Rolls-Royce models, the company that owned Bentley between 1931 and 1980.
While more information will be available when the model features at the show, Bentley has stressed that this power source is very much still in development. The earliest you can expect to see a Bentley hybrid on the roads is 2017 and the firm have confirmed that its forthcoming SUV will be the first model to benefit from this.
As Bentley will also be using the Beijing Motor Show as a platform to unveil the Flying Spur, Continental GT Speed and the Continental GT V8 S for the first time ever in China, be sure to keep an eye out for further developments in the coming weeks. Those attending the event will be lucky enough to see some other truly sensational concept cars and exclusive models, with the Lamborghini Aventador Nazionale and the Audi Q4 concept set to feature alongside the Bentley at the Beijing show.