Bentley won’t be depending on internal combustion engines for much longer, in case you missed it. By 2030, the high-end British brand will no longer offer vehicles that run on nasty dinosaur poop (more commonly known as gas or diesel fuel). Bentley is weaning its customers off gasoline with a series of hybrids before startling them into buying only EVs. The gas-electric Bentayga was first, and now the Flying Spur sedan will be hybridized in 2022.
In fact, the Flying Spur is equipped with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which can be compared to a Bentley-sized Prius Prime. Depending on the drive mode and the state of charge of the battery, a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6 and an electric motor wedged between it and the transmission split or share motivating duties. The V-6 and the e-motor work together to produce 536 horsepower and 552 lb-ft of torque. The V-6, which produces 150 horsepower per liter, is actually more powerful than the Flying Spur’s optional gas V-8.
A 14.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers the hybrid system, which Bentley claims will provide more than 25 miles of pure electric driving. Those estimates, however, are preliminary, and Bentley has yet to have the WLTP or the EPA certify them. Depending on the power source, the battery is believed to be capable of being fully charged in as little as two and a half hours.
Bentley claims that the Flying Spur hybrid will accelerate to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, barely a tenth of a second slower than the 542-hp Flying Spur V-8. The top speed is said to be a whopping 177 miles per hour.
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In the drive mode selector, there are new EV-specific modes. The Bentley is forced to rely completely on the battery pack and electric motor to get you up and running in EV mode, as you would have predicted. The hybrid model works in conjunction with the onboard navigation system to guarantee that the Flying Spur uses the engine and motor as efficiently as possible before arriving at your destination. Hold mode tries to keep the battery charged for subsequent EV-only use by balancing the engine and motor.
Outside, there’s hybrid badging to let people know you didn’t spring for the W12, and inside, the Flying Spur will now provide information like how much range you have, the health of the battery, and so on. Aside from the hybrid indicators, the cabin is just as luxurious and configurable as the normal Flying Spur’s.
There’s no news on pricing yet, but the Flying Spur Hybrid is expected to start at well over $180,000 when it arrives in the United States. Customers can start placing hybrid orders right now, with the first deliveries scheduled by the end of the year.