The Bentley Bentayga is the antithesis of subtle, and it's hard not to be a bit cynical at the hybridisation of what the brand considers “the only electrified true luxury SUV in the world”. Inventing new market segments aside, the Bentayga is never going to be a bastion of environmental friendliness, but the team in Crewe reckon that actually, the PHEV powertrain is perfect for the 'average' Bentayga owner. If there is such a thing.
There are no big shocks in the powertrain department; it's the same unit as can be found in the first generation hybrid. This means a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6 working in tandem with a 126bhp, 258lb-ft electric motor which is housed in the transmission between the petrol motor and gearbox. Total system power is 443bhp and 516lb-ft of torque and in electric mode the Bentayga can achieve speeds of 84mph.
As per the first-gen car, the battery is 17.3kWh in size and can accept a charge of 7.2kWh AC (via a charging port on the nearside of the car). A full charge from empty can be achieved in 2.5 hours, and on battery power alone, the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid has an NEDC range of 31 miles, though expect this to be mid-20s on the WLTP cycle.
Despite this comparatively measly EV range, Bentley has crunched the numbers with the help of current Bentayga Hybrid owners. It found that 90 per cent of them use their Bentayga either daily or several times per week, with almost all using EV mode. Half of them consistently undertook journeys of less than 30 miles, meaning that for the vast majority of owners, travelling predominantly in EV mode was a very real possibility. By way of example, Bentley's Bentayga Hybrid project leader in the UK achieved 64 per cent zero emissions during his commute to and from the factory.
As per all modern PHEVs, several different driving modes help modulate electric-to-petrol consumption, balancing performance and economy, going EV-only, making maximum power available or holding a state of charge.
As you can see in the images, the new Bentley Bentayga has taken a step forward in the looks department. New LED headlights sit aside a new, wider grille and lower air ducts. At the back the brake lights are close in appearance to those found on the Continental GT – and all round, it's a big improvement to our eye.
Inside, the latest generation of infotainment has been integrated into the ultra-plush interior. A central 10.9 inch display with edge-to-edge, ultra-high resolution graphics replaces the outgoing infotainment system. It integrates wireless Apple CarPlay for the first time (in addition to a wired version) as well as Android Auto. Rear seat passengers get a new, larger touchscreen remote control like that found in the Flying Spur.
Connectivity is further improved with the addition of USB-C data ports and a wireless phone charger as standard. Also standard is an embedded SIM so My Bentley data connection is now undertaken via the car, rather than piggy-backing off a mobile phone or customer-purchased data connection.
The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid will be available from mid-year, and whilst there's no official confirmation of the price, we'd estimate that it will be in the region of £132,000 – slightly above the starting price of the old version.