Car and Driver recently sat down with Bentley Chief Wolfgang Dürheimer to get some details on the British automaker’s plug-in hybrid and upcoming SUV. Dürheimer told the publication that we shouldn’t expect to see the plug-in hybrid until the next generation of Bentleys are unveiled and that a final decision on their SUV will be made in just a matter of a few weeks.
The interview also gives us some more details in both of the Bentley projects. The built-in hybrid will be using technology shared with other brands in the Volkswagen group and Bentley has no intentions of reinventing the hybrid system. “For us, differentiation is styling, appearance, prestige, craftsmanship, luxury. For us, hybrid tech is a ‘need-to-have’,” Dürheimer stated. The other brands will also be able to absorb the development costs into their larger budgets.
With that in mind, Dürheimer suggested that Audi‘s new 4.0L twin-turbo V8 could be the gasoline-powered component of the hybrid system, which will feature a motor-generator between the engine and transmission. Dürheimer also said that the W-12 powerplant could also be used since the electric motor fits behind that engine also. As for the electric-only range, Dürheimer said that 16- to 19-miles will be acceptable for a Bentley plug-in hybrid.
As for the SUV, Dürheimer is clearly excited about the upcoming model and has become very encouraged as he gets more and more feedback on it. He’s looking at markets in Russia, China and even the US with the SUV and stated that it won’t be a Hummer, but will be on the large side. “We think we will need to have a lot of space in the back; we need to have a comfort zone, good air conditioning in the back, and everything you need to be transported in the back.”
[Source: Car and Driver]