From its more mainstream, popular origins in the original Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, the hybrid powertrain has worked its way up to the the corner office, the big chair, the top slot in the corporation. Bentley has announced that it will introduce a plug-in hybrid option on its SUV due in 2017. Before then, we'll see what an electrically assisted Bentley looks like at the Beijing Motor Show when the Crewe automaker shows off a copper-accented Mulsanne that's been reworked into its Hybrid Concept, pictured above.

We don't have any official specs just yet, the only major announcement being that any Bentley hybrid will be able to travel at least 50 kilometers (31 miles) on pure electric thrust and get a power boost of "up to" 25 percent from its electric side. We use the phrase "any Bentley hybrid" because the company's CEO says "we will gradually introduce this powertrain across our model range" to 90 percent of the brand's lineup.

We'll know more when the Beijing show commences. For now, there's the press release below and the high-res gallery above.
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BENTLEY CHARGES FORWARD WITH HYBRID CONCEPT

• Bentley to introduce plug-in hybrid technology to the luxury market
• Additional performance and efficiency without compromise to luxury
• Bentley Hybrid Concept showcases the technology in flagship Mulsanne
• First application of hybrid power available in 2017 in the Bentley SUV


(Crewe, England. 9, April 2014) Bentley is envisioning a powerful and even more efficient Future with the Bentley Hybrid Concept - a technology showcase that previews Bentley's first plug-in hybrid model, set to be a dedicated version of the all-new SUV available in 2017. The Bentley Hybrid Concept will be on display at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on Sunday 2Qch April.

As the first luxury brand to present a plug-in hybrid, Bentley leads the way in bringing new powertrain choice to the luxury automotive sector. Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, comments:

"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. We are proud to be pioneering these developments in the luxury sector."

The Bentley Plug-in Hybrid System
Through Bentley's hybrid system, customers will have a wider choice of modern, powerful and efficient powertrains. The plug-in hybrid system will offer a power increase of up to 25 reduction in C02 emissions, both without any compromise to the exquisite luxury, timeless design and industry-leading refinement for which Bentley has become renowned. Bentley hybrids will also be capable of driving at least 50 km on electric power alone, allowing for emissions-free city driving with the option of enhanced performance on the open road.

The Bentley Hybrid Concept
The Bentley Hybrid Concept is based on the flagship model in the Bentley family, the Mulsanne, to show that hybrid technology enhances even the pinnacle of luxury and performance. Copper is used as an exterior and interior styling element to highlight the car's electrical veins, including copper details to the headlamps, radiator shell bezel, brake calipers, feature line details and badges. Copper accents continue in the cabin, with inserts to the hand-crafted veneers fascias, switch bezels and instruments. Copper cross-stitching to the Mulliner Driving Specification diamond-quilted interior provides the Finishing flourish.

Beijing International Automotive Exhibition
The Bentley Hybrid Concept is joined on the new Bentley show stand in Beijing on 20th April by three other members of the road-car family. The new Flying Spur V8 makes its Chinese debut, as a new member of the already- renowned Flying Spur family capable of over 500 miles on a tank of fuel. The new and enhanced 206 mph (33 1 km/h) Continental GT Speed - the fastest production Bentley ever, with 635 PS and 820 Nm of torque - also makes its Far East debut, along with the new Continental GT V8 S.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      throwback
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hybrids are the way forward for large vehicles. CO2 and CAFE regs are only going to get tougher.
      Ken
      • 8 Months Ago
      I like it, and the 'copper' trim is interesting.
      VNTS
      • 8 Months Ago
      Battery powered Copper-Top edition.. Rolls Royce counters with new Drop-CopperHead coupe..Time to buy Duracell shares.
      Andrew
      • 8 Months Ago
      World of advise Bentley don't even bother GM and CADILLAC owns this segment with the Slade just give up now GM will make you look like children
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Andrew
        [blocked]
      Jonathan
      • 8 Months Ago
      I actually have nothing to say about this...
      Bernard
      • 8 Months Ago
      Well if the P1 can be a hybrid... Regardless, I have low expectations of this SUV. Their sedans already weigh more than most SUV's, and their brand styling doesn't fit well in a truck format. This thing is going to be massive, ugly, and even with hybrid tech the economy will suck.
      thecommentator2013
      • 8 Months Ago
      The future luxury is EREV or EV. As much as I love a V12 but sorry, they're old world...outdated...
      korblalak
      • 8 Months Ago
      I guess paying gas guzzler tax isn't that chic anymore.
        throwback
        • 8 Months Ago
        @korblalak
        The tax is not the problem, In Europe it's the CO2 requirements.
      Levine Levine
      • 8 Months Ago
      Bentley is an over priced version of a fat VW or Audi.
      FREEPAT75014
      • 8 Months Ago
      30 Miles of EV range means 40KWH battery packs then, in luxury SUV segment.