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Rolls-Royce is reportedly code-naming its SUV after the world’s largest diamond.
More than a month later, the luxury automaker is revealing engine details including possibilities that might come as a surprise. As might be expected, a 4.0-liter V8 version is being discusses, as is a 6.0-liter V12 to top the range, but the shocker here is that Bentley says it is considering a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
All three engine options are tentative to date, but the two traditional Bentley powerhouses are likely to live into production. If the automaker decides to roll out the third variant it would represent an entirely new direction for the company: an SUV, and a hybrid — both items that would be newcomers in the British marque’s line.
According to the company, the efficiency-minded powertrain would be based around a V6. We know that the V12 would offer 600 hp and 500 hp from the V8, but estimated horsepower figures for the hybrid system were absent. While there’s a chance the world could see such an EXP 9 F built, it seems more likely that the company is using its ostentatious and the attention it garners to signal possible future options across the board.
With tightening average fuel economy numbers becoming a greater issue for automakers like Bentley that have historically relied on gas-guzzling powerplants, it might make sense to start thinking of alternatives. Then again, it may very well be considering a hybrid SUV for China, it’s largest market.