Bentley’s first battery-electric vehicle, set to be launched in 2025, could boast as much as 1,400 hp, according to a recent interview with the luxury British brand’s CEO Adrian Hallmark.
Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Hallmark explained that Bentley’s first BEV – the first of five electric vehicles set to be launched each year from 2025 as part of the company’s ‘Beyond 100’ electrification strategy – is likely to eclipse the Continental GT Speed as the most powerful model on Bentley’s lineup, with power potentially as high as 1,400 hp. Said horsepower means the upcoming BEV could theoretically sprint from 0-100 km/h in a Bugatti-esque sub-two seconds.
“If we are 650 hp now with GT Speed, we will be double that with the BEV,” Mr Hallmark explained. “You can have 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds. Or it can be switched to 1.5 seconds.”
By contrast, the 2,725 kg GT Speed, equipped with a 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 that produces 650 hp and 663.8 lb-ft of torque, hits 0-100 km/h in a comparatively ‘leisurely’ 3.6 seconds.
Bentley’s CEO does add though that rampant acceleration off the line is unlikely to define the brand’s new BEV, with development focus – and formidable electric torque – likely to prioritize the EV drivetrain’s mid-range performance for the comfort of its customers.
“For us it would not be the brutality of acceleration that can define us,” Hallmark continues. “Most people enjoy the 30-70 mph [50 – 113 km/h] acceleration, or in Germany the 30 – 150 mph [50 – 240 km/h] acceleration. But from a 0 to 60 mph point of view there are diminishing returns. The problem is, it’s uncomfortable. The thrill of 2.4 seconds to 60 mph [around 97 km/h] is great about 10 times. Then it just becomes nauseous.”
Hallmark goes on to say that the new BEV “will be more in that Mulsanne price range than anything that [Bentley] have today,” but stops short of stating the final model type. Speculation surrounding the new BEV has been high since the company announced its target for carbon neutrality by 2025 back in January. Many are suggesting the ‘Mulsanne’ name, discontinued when production of Bentley’s flagship limousine came to a close in 2020, could return as a luxurious, four-door sports GT. The mooted quarter-million-euro price range (around $335,000) and performance potential now backs this up.
Production of Bentley’s first BEV will begin in 2025 at the brand’s headquarters in Crewe, UK, with a second electric model – possibly an all-electric successor to the Bentayga SUV, currently Bentley’s best-selling model – set to follow in 2026.