British luxury car maker Bentley Motors on Tuesday unveiled the specs of its coming Flying Spur Hybrid saloon as the company accelerates its journey to electrification.
The new model builds on the success of the third-generation Flying Spur, using a third powertrain delivering the most environmentally friendly Bentley to date, the Volkswagen-owned company said.
The new powertrain combines a 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine with an advanced electric motor. It is the most efficient Bentley ever, with the capability of covering more than 700 kilometres when fully fuelled, it added.
Bentley aims to start delivering the new model to customers by the end of this year.
In November, the company said it would reinvent every aspect of its business to become an end-to-end, carbon-neutral organisation as part of its “Beyond100” strategy to speed up the development of electrified models.
Its model line-up will include only plug-in hybrids and electric cars until 2026 and will be fully electric by 2030.
Restrictive emissions and fuel-efficiency regulations have forced car makers around the world to produce vehicles that are environmentally friendly.
Volkswagen, the second-largest car maker by sales last year, plans to unveil about 70 new electric models by 2028, raise its electric vehicle production to 22 million over the next decade and spend $33 billion making its other models electric.
In January, General Motors, the largest US car maker, said it plans to eliminate petrol and diesel light-duty cars, including sports utility vehicles, by 2035.
“The latest addition to Bentley’s new hybrid range demonstrates that hybridisation does not compromise luxury or performance. With an unperceivable blend between the internal combustion engine and electric motor, refined serenity is on offer regardless of driving mode or style,” Bentley said in a statement.
Inside the cabin of the new Flying Spur Hybrid, the automatic start-stop switch is replaced with a control panel for the three modes — electric vehicle drive, hybrid mode and hold mode. It enables the driver to manage the battery usage depending of the type of journey, such as a city drive or a long drive.
EV Drive mode is engaged as soon as the car is switched on. The flow of energy can also be displayed through the infotainment screen, where statistics can be seen and the timers for charging the vehicle can be set.
Hybrid mode maximises vehicle efficiency and range using data from the intelligent navigation system, whereas the hold mode balances engine and electric power to save the high-voltage battery charge.
The Flying Spur Hybrid reaches 0-97kmph in 4.1 seconds and achieves a top speed of 285kmph. It is powered by a lithium ion battery that can be fully charged in about two and a half hours.
It comes with a “my battery charge” feature that lets users remotely initiate vehicle charging as long as the car is plugged in. They can select the time they plan to leave and the charging system will calculate a rate to achieve the highest level of charge in line with their departure.