The ultra-luxury automaker is looking at how Volkswagen is making hybrid powertrains and may add a plug-in hybrid option to future models, UK-based Autocar reported, citing an interview with Bentley engineering chief Rolf Frech.
Bentley is more apt to look at new powertrains now that former Porsche executive Wolfgang Durhemier is running the company, Autocar said. Frech noted that, in addition to boosting fuel economy, electric-drive powertrains are appropriate for Bentley because of the high torque that electric motors provide.
There'd sure be plenty of room for fuel-economy improvements when it comes to a potential electric-drive powertrain in a Bentley. Last February, the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) put together its annual list of "greenest" and "meanest" U.S. production vehicles when it came to environmental impact. Bentley managed to get two cars onto the list – the Bentley Mulsanne and the Bentley Continental GTC. Both V8-powered cars got an EPA-rated 13 miles per gallon combined. The only "meaner" non-SUV or non-truck on the ACEEE list was the Bugatti's 16-cylinder Veyron.