Bentley will make a decision on whether it will add an electric vehicle to its lineup within a year.
Rolf Frech, Bentley’s board member in charge of engineering, confirmed to Drive that the automaker is studying an electric car that will likely borrow most of its hardware from the Porsche Mission E concept that debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
“We are currently in the stage where we are evaluating all the possibilities, but there are so many question marks behind this,” Frech said. “I think there will be an answer within the next six months to a year to decide which direction we will go, but of course electric will be a future strategy direction for Bentley.”
As was previously reported, Frech hinted that the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 is a possible candidate for an all-electric offering, noting that its low center of gravity fits the character of a future Bentley sports car. He confirmed that Bentley not only has the capabilities of using the Mission E platform, but a lot of the modules can be brought into “our car.” Naturally it would all have to make business sense for the brand before it commits to production.
Even if the EXP 10 Speed 6 doesn’t head to production as an electric vehicle, it is all but officially locked in for production, Drive says. Bentley executives hint that it is “a case of when rather than if it becomes a reality.” The difficulty is where to slot it into Bentley’s model cycle plan, especially since it just introduced the Bentayga SUV and production is ramping up. The Bentayga is expected to make up for 50 percent of sales for the brand.
Bentley already plans to add plug-in hybrid variants to all future models, starting with the new Bentayga SUV in 2017.
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