Bentley goes hybrid on powertrains

Bentley’s future drivetrain will be an all-new, performance-focused V8 hybrid powertrain named ‘Ultra Performance Hybrid’, replacing its iconic W12 engine. A pure electric Bentley seems not yet in sight.

In a press release, the ultra-luxury brand and VW Group daughter promises “producing the highest power output ever offered in a Bentley; the new powertrain will also be the most dynamic, responsive, and efficient system in Bentley’s history, befitting a new generation of daily supercars.”

Bye bye W12

As Bentley’s iconic 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine heads towards retirement this summer, with 105,000 engines built over the last two decades, the new Ultra Performance Hybrid will take on the mantle as Bentley’s leading powertrain.

While developing more power than the W12 and four-figure torque over a wider plateau, the Ultra Performance Hybrid will also deliver a WLTP drive cycle CO2 figure of under 50 g/km due to the pure electric range its battery pack is capable of (80 km WLTP).

‘Ultra Performance’…

Christened the ‘Ultra Performance Hybrid’, the new powertrain follows Bentley’s long-standing tradition of supplementing class-leading combustion engines with technology to increase performance.

Supercharging in the 1920s was the early forebear to the use of turbocharging from the 1980s to the present day. This summer, Bentley goes one step further, bringing even more performance through ‘electro charging.’

The Crewe-based company will use a potent hybrid system to create “the most advanced and most powerful powertrain in Bentley’s 105-year history.”

The new system builds on Bentley’s existing hybrid powertrains but goes further in terms of performance and efficiency: with more than 750 hp and the already mentioned 80 km electric-only range, it produces 91 hp more than the W12 engine offered in the Flying Spur and GT W12 Speed derivatives.

…comes with a sound

Bentley also previewed the new engine’s character today, releasing an engine sound clip that reveals a combination of “cross-plane bass with a free-revving growl”. This represents one end of the audio spectrum offered by the powertrain, the polar opposite of the absolute silence the system will offer in electric mode.

More details on Bentley’s new electrified powertrain, which will drive the next phase of its Bentley’s Beyond 100 journey and deliver the promise of every car in the range being available as a hybrid, will be released over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, customers can still purchase the final few remaining examples of Bentley’s W12 and non-hybrid V8 engines, which are available through Bentley’s global retailer network.

The heart of the system is still a V8 internal combustion engine /Bentley


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