Bentley launches new Bentayga Hybrid

05th January 2021
Bob Murray

One of the most successful facelifts of 2020 meets what is likely to be among the most popular drivetrain options of 2021 in the updated version of the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid. As new entry-level edition to the luxury SUV line-up, the Hybrid is expected to become Bentley’s best-selling model.


The plug-in hybrid technology of the previous version ­– launched not much more than a year ago – is used again here, married with the convincing nose ‘n tail restyling job and feature upgrade that has distinguished other Bentayga models since last summer. The result is a Bentayga that both looks good (all right, better…) and whose zero (tailpipe) emissions capability is practical enough to be used by nine out of 10 owners on a daily basis, according to Crewe.

Like the outgoing Bentayga Hybrid, the new one has a 17.3kWh lithium-ion battery which powers a 94kW (126PS) electric motor – given a light foot, it will power it for long enough to take this 2.6 tonne behemoth for 31 miles in what Bentley says is the most silent and serene luxury SUV experience available.

Thirty one miles is the official distance at least, accredited under the old NEDC regime, and in the real world it’s likely to be nearer 24 miles. Bentley says owners of the outgoing model consistently drive their cars on journeys of less than 30 miles – so long enough for a school run or most people’s commuter journeys – but it still seems a shame the electric-only distance hasn’t increased with the new model.


Being a plug-in hybrid, there is no worry if you venture further afield because the petrol motor can potentially deliver another 500 miles or so of range. The official numbers here are 81mpg and 79g/km of CO2 (for the outgoing model at least, and we assume the new one will be the same).

Such numbers sound impressive and are of course far superior to the V8 Bentayga (21mpg) but achieving such parsimonious fuel consumption does depend on remembering to keep it charged up. Bentley says its experience with the outgoing version shows that owners do, indeed, remember to plug in. A full charge takes two and a half hours at max power.

Left in hybrid drive mode and with your journey inputted into the navigation system, the Bentayga Hybrid will work out what power source to use and when, usefully keeping juice in reserve so it can be used later, to negotiate an ultra-low or zero emissions zone in a city for example. Should you get the urge to put your foot down, haptic feedback (a vibration) through the accelerator pedal at the point where electric propulsion gives way to petrol power is meant to deter you.

As before this combustion engine is a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 out of the VW Group parts bin, and as such is a far cry from the eight and 12-cylinder Bentaygas. The V6 delivers something over 330PS so with the electric motor, system power totals 449PS (330Kw) with 700Nm (516lb ft) of torque. Heavier and less powerful than the V8 Bentayga, there will be no surprise that the Hybrid is slower: if it matches the previous version it will get from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds and top out at 158mph.


It is not the fastest Bentayga then but it’s likely to be fast enough for most and from outside and in, is now more or less indistinguishable from the latest V8 and W12 models. It may still be no beauty but last year’s facelift has done the car a lot of favours, with the new more resolved front and, in particular, a far more attractive backside with its elliptical Conti GT lights. And inside there’s a multitude of improvements for what by common consent was already the best luxury SUV interior going.

There’s no price yet – think around £135,000, so usefully under the V8 Bentayga – and deliveries don’t start until later in 2021. That will be just five years before Bentley has pledged that all its models will be either plug-in hybrids or battery electric. We can expect other new models soon, with a Flying Spur Hybrid coming hard on the heels of the Bentayga Hybrid whose electrified V6 drivetrain the sedan will adopt.

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