Crewe, England - Bentley is looking towards a more efficient future, it says, with the Bentley Hybrid Concept, built to showcase the technology that will underpin its first plug-in hybrid model.
The production hybrid will actually be a dedicated version of the all-new Bentley SUV, scheduled for release only 2017. In the meantime, however, the Hybrid Concept is based on a specially built, one-off version of the range-topping Mulsanne sedan.
The plug-in hybrid system will provide a power increase of as much as 25 percent, together with a 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. Bentley says its hybrids will also be capable of driving at least 50km on pure electric power, allowing for emissions-free city driving with the option of enhanced performance on the open road.
Since hybrids are all about using electrical power to supplement combustion engines, the Bentley boffins used copper as the concept's signature colour, to highlight the car's electrical veins.
There's polished copper detailing on headlights, radiator shell bezel, brake callipers, feature line details and badges. Copper accents continue in the cabin, on the instruments, switch bezels and inserts in the wood-veneer trim.
Copper-coloured cross stitching on the Mulliner Driving Specification diamond-quilted leather upholstery provides the finishing touch.
Bentley chairman Dr Wolfgang Schreiber said: “Combining our engines with electric power reinforces Bentley's values of luxury and effortless performance, and so we will gradually introduce this hybrid power across our model range.
“By the end of the decade, at least 90 percent of our new cars will be available as a plug-in hybrid.”
The Bentley Hybrid Concept will be on display at the Beijing motor show from Sunday 20 April.