Historically, luxury has been about excess and decadence, no matter what the cost. As far as the automotive industry goes, this over-the-top approach sometimes has unfortunate consequences on a car’s gas mileage. In a list of the least fuel-efficient vehicles by size class compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), super-luxury cars were overrepresented, with models like the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Bugatti Chiron making appearances.
Still, a slow but undeniably steady green wave has been sweeping through the car industry, and the super-luxury segment hasn’t been immune. British car marque Bentley recently made a plug-in hybrid powertrain available for its palatial SUV, the Bentayga. Now spy photos suggest that Bentley’s upcoming Flying Spur and Continental GT will also offer plug-in hybrid variants.
Luxury’s New Look
When equipped with the gas-only powertrain, the Bentley Bentayga isn’t exactly a champ when it comes to fuel economy. According to the EPA, this model earns a dismal 17 mpg combined city/highway. The EPA hasn’t yet tested the Bentayga’s hybrid variant, but its fuel economy is expected to represent a notable improvement over that of its gas-only counterpart.
The Bentayga hybrid combines a 3.6-liter V6 with an electric motor for a net output of 443 horsepower. Bentley claims that the SUV can hustle from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.
Bentley hasn’t provided much information regarding the hybrid variants of the Flying Spur and Continental GT. But the Flying Spur is expected to be equipped with the same electrified powertrain as the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid. This magnanimous sharing of parts is made possible by the fact that Bentley is owned by the Volkswagen Group, the same company that owns the Porsche brand.
Remember that EPA list of the least fuel-efficient vehicles? The Bentley Mulsanne holds a spot, thanks to its truly miserable fuel economy: 12 mpg combined. Bentley’s new electrified offerings seem to represent a welcome change of course for the manufacturer. With any luck, more and more automakers in this rarefied segment will follow the trend.