Bentley has revealed its first fuel-efficient hybrid concept powertrain at the Beijing Motor Show 2014, which is currently underway at the China International Exhibition Center until April 29, Tuesday.
The plug-in hybrid concept, which first debuted into the rapidly growing Chinese market, is previewed on Bentley's flagship Mulsanne saloon. It combines petrol and electric power to run and can be recharged using a normal AC home outlet.
Bentley dropped hints that its new hybrid concept powertrain will increase its power output by up to 25% that of the standard Mulsanne, which runs on a 6.75-liter twin turbo V8 engine that delivers 505 bhp. Multiplying these figures, we see that the new hybrid will run at 631 bhp.
The carmaker also said that its hybrid system will expel only 118 g of carbon emissions per kilometer. That is 75% less than the carbon dioxide pumped out by the conventional Mulsanne, which has a carbon emission of 393 g/km.
The first application of this hybrid powertrain will not be until 2017, when Bentley plans to release its forthcoming sports utility vehicle (SUV) into the market.
The new hybrid system is set to run on electric power alone for up to 31 miles before the engine starts. This makes it ideal for city driving with zero emissions while still providing better performance when out on the open road.
Bentley's first attempt at combining luxury and fuel-efficiency will feature copper styling elements to "highlight the car's electrical veins," the manufacturer stated in a press release.
The copper detailing will be found on the headlamps, radiator shell bezels, feature line details, badges and brake calipers. The theme also extends into the interior, with the hybrid car featuring copper instruments, switch bezels and veneer fascia, as well as copper cross-stitching for the car's diamond-quilted leather upholstery as a finishing touch.
"There is no doubt that plug-in hybrid technology is true to Bentley's values of outstanding luxury and effortless performance. Combining our renowned engines with electric power reinforces and enhances both principles, and so we will gradually introduce this powertrain across our model range. By the end of the decade, at least 90% of our production will be available as a plug-in hybrid," says Bentley chairman and CEO Wolfgang Schreiber.
Also introduced at the motor show are the Flying Spur V8, which can run up to 500 miles on full tank, the 206 mph Continental GT Speed, and the Continental GT V8.5.