For the first real battery car needs Bentley a few more years. But with the newly redesigned Bentayga Hybrid, the higher earners can turn to the Luxury get used to it quietly. When the battery is empty, however, it gets louder.
The experience of starting this Bentley Bentayga is no longer entirely new, but it is still difficult to get used to. Because where the British cars have so far roared out loud when they are started in order to manifest their claim to leadership like the lion in the jungle, the fine brother of the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne quietly gets ready to drive.
Introduced two years ago and immediately promoted to the best-selling engine variant, the plug-in hybrid is now getting a facelift, just like the pure gasoline engines before, which Bentley is supposed to advance on its way to becoming the first fully electric luxury brand. In a few months, the same drive will also be available in the Flying Spur, from 2025 every Bentley should be electrified and shortly afterwards the first all-electric car will be on the production plan of the fine VW subsidiary.
Not going so well yet
The British have revamped the Bentayga for the second half. The huge grill therefore looks even bigger, headlights and taillights sparkle more finely and inside a new infotainment generation is running on larger screens based on the current state of the art. But when the first cars roll out of the dealers' yard these days at prices starting at 197.800 euros, then they do so with the old drive: It remains with a V250 petrol engine that is almost modest with three liters and 340 kW / 6 hp, the is clamped together with an e-machine of 94 kW / 128 PS. There is also a battery of almost 17,3 kWh under the trunk, which should be enough for up to 40 kilometers of emission-free driving.
As long as you gently touch the huge gas pedal in the footwell, the luxury liner rolls off the courtyard on velvet paws and accelerates in ghostly silence to up to 135 km / h as if by magic. This calm goes well with the luxury in the lounge made of lacquer and leather and with that incomparable sovereignty and solidity that makes the Bentayga unrivaled. No other SUV is as self-contained as the great Brit and no other seems to be so immune to all the adversities that everyday life out there could come up with. Even at Buckingham Palace you are probably not as far removed from the world as you are in Bentaygas massaged upholstery made of quilted luxury leather.
The more relaxed the driver, the longer the Bentayga drives electrically, even if you let the on-board computer control the interaction between the two units in hybrid mode. So it only takes a few minutes until you have forgotten that you are sitting in an eccentric and you have to look at the modified tachometer on the left in the cockpit if you want to see the operating status.
Much more often, however, one looks at the so-called fried egg, which Bentley recently programmed in blue on the navigation map. After all, this gives much clearer information about the radius of action than the remaining range, which is displayed in the now fully digitized instruments behind the steering wheel. But no matter where you look, the value shrinks faster than you would like and the promised 40 kilometers can only be kept in theory. Nevertheless, Bentley has found that customers in the first half make almost 90 percent of their trips purely electrically, which does not necessarily speak in favor of particularly long excursions by the nobility.
Not much electricity comes from recuperation
Once the battery is empty, there is no way around the charging station if you want to drive electrically. Because even if you can force pure electric operation in addition to the hybrid mode or disconnect the Stromer in the sport position, the Bentley, unlike many other plug-in hybrids, does not offer a driving program in which the battery with the excess power of the burner is charged. And with recuperation alone, the 17,3 kWh does not come together that quickly. But hey - anyone who can afford a Bentayga is in no hurry and likes to take a 2,5 hour break.
Power stays with the Bentayga Hybrid
Or he drives the six-cylinder alone - which is only a limited pleasure, however. Because as well as the engine does its job in other group models, it doesn't want to match the opulent Bentley. Of course, 340 PS and 450 Nm are enough for more than 2,5 tons of SUVs and the performance is always sufficient.
After all, the Bentayga sprints to 5,5 km / h in 100 seconds and reaches 254 km / h at full throttle. But those who are used to the sonorous sound and effortlessness of a twelve-cylinder or at least the sovereignty of the V8 are reluctant to be satisfied with less - even if the neighbors are only responsible for the climatic conditions in two small badges on the fenders and the second tank flap revealed, like to nod approvingly. After all, Bentley doesn't skimp on opulence and offers everything that is good and expensive for the plug-in - from Mullinner leather to the 22-inch model to a Breitling watch with diamonds in the dial.
With its renewed commitment to the V6 engine, Bentley is daring a descent that cannot be fully compensated for by using the electric motor. Especially since the British offer the only electrified SUV in this segment, but are content with less power than, for example, the Stuttgart sister company Porsche, which also has a V8 turbo plugged into the socket in the Cayenne.
But spoiled customers hardly have to worry. Reaching for the ashtrays, which are spread around in the cup holders, helps against doubts about the usual opulence and the lived abundance. As long as they are milled from the solid and are heavy in the hand, the world is still all right for the common Bentley customer. Even if he - just like his Bentayga at least for a time - is a non-smoker.
Five-seater luxury-class off-road vehicle, length: 5,14 meters, width: 2,00 meters, height: 1,74 meters, wheelbase: 3,00 meters, trunk volume: 431 liters
3,0-liter V6 petrol engine, 250 kW / 340 PS, maximum torque: 450 Nm, electric motor, 94 kW / 128 PS, maximum torque: 350 Nm, system output 330 kW / 449 PS, maximum torque: 700 Nm ,
0-100 km / h: 5,5 s, Vmax: 254 km / h, average consumption: 3,4 liters, CO2 emissions: 82 g / km, emissions standard: Euro 6 d, efficiency class: n / a, price: 197.800 euros
Why: because then the conscience no longer weighs so much
Why not: because six cylinders don't work in a Bentley
What else: The Cayenne Turbo SE Hybrid with V8, a fully electric SUV like the Audi e-tron or simply a combustion engine as before.
When does he come: after the summer holidays