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Bentley SUV to get plug-in hybrid in 2017 | Auto Express

Bentley has confirmed that its forthcoming SUV will be available as a plug-in hybrid in 2017, a year after the car’s launch.

The rest of Bentley’s saloon, coupé and convertible range will follow suit with hybrid versions as and when they’re due for replacement.

Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, said: “The SUV will be the first Bentley hybrid because it’s based on a new platform with new technology. You need space for batteries and the technology, so we probably won’t do that for existing models. We will see hybrid versions of all of our cars, though.”

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More http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/bentley/85136/bentley-suv-get-plug-hybrid-2017

Bentley’s 4×4 will be its first model with hybrid tech, with the rest of the range to follow

Bentley has confirmed that its forthcoming SUV will be available as a plug-in hybrid in 2017, a year after the car’s launch.

The rest of Bentley’s saloon, coupé and convertible range will follow suit with hybrid versions as and when they’re due for replacement.

Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, said: “The SUV will be the first Bentley hybrid because it’s based on a new platform with new technology. You need space for batteries and the technology, so we probably won’t do that for existing models. We will see hybrid versions of all of our cars, though.”

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Schreiber confirmed that the new SUV hybrid will “very likely be a plug-in”, probably using similar tech to that already found in the Porsche Panamera Hybrid and soon to find its way onto the Porsche Cayenne.

“Bentley is in a good position as part of the VW group,” said Schreiber. “With technology like hybrids you need lots of investment. Smaller companies will struggle, so it’s a good opportunity for Bentley to use synergies from the VW group. For example, batteries can be used across numerous models.”

SUV development is well on track for a 2016 launch, which means a 2015 debut. However, Schreiber confirmed that we won’t be seeing another SUV concept, following the poorly received EXP 9F concept revealed at Geneva Motor Show 2012.

“We learnt a lot from that car. The exterior was not liked by everybody so we reacted and modified the design completely. It’s now a true Bentley,” he said.

However, Bentley says it already has 2000 pre-orders based on the concept, with none of the potential owners having a clear indication of price or what the final car will look like.

According to Bentley’s sales and marketing director, Kevin Rose, the SUV will account for around 3000 sales per year, helping to push the company from its record 2013 figures of 10,120 sales towards its 2018 target of 18,000.

“For existing Bentley customers, it’ll be an additional car for 90% of them,” said Rose, “Plus new people from the top end of other SUVs and sedans.”

But although the new SUV will target top end Range Rovers – which itself will be available as a hybrid this year – and Porsche Cayenne Turbos, Wolfgang Schreiber says it’ll create a new niche: “There is no pure luxury end of the SUV market – with our car we can create a whole new segment.”

However, usability won’t be forgotten – Schreiber also said that the SUV will be the first Bentley available with a tow bar.

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