In case you missed, Bentley is aiming to become an “end-to-end carbon-neutral organisation”, and that includes making only fully electric cars by 2030. That’s not a lot of time left, so the British luxury carmaker is now forging forwards with its Beyond100 plan with the introduction of its second electrified model, the Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid.
In addition to the monstrous W12 and V8 engines, the Bentley Flying Spur is now available with an electrified powertrain, which combines a 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine with an electric motor for a total system output of 544 hp and 750 Nm of torque.
For those keeping track, that’s 96 hp more than the Bentayga Hybrid that was unveiled about two years ago. With the added electric propulsion, the Bentley Flying Spur hybrid can aceelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds (just two tenths of a second slower than the V8 Flying Spur, despite its added weight), onward to a top speed of 285 km/h.
But of course, performance isn’t the main focus here – they already have the W12 (or maybe the Continental GT) for that. The new Flying Spur Hybrid is also supposedly the “most efficient Bentley ever”, capable of travelling over 700 km in a single tank of fuel. Electric juice meanwhile is fed by a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can be recharged in “as little as two and a half hours”, depending on region and their charging infrastructure.
On top of that, Bentley also says that it’s virtually “unperceivable” when the car switches between its internal combustion engine and electric motor, regardless of driving style or mode – of which, there are three, which can be controlled via the switch that replaces the automatic start-stop button on the regular petrol-powered car, or automatically by the car’s computer.
EV Drive, the default mode when the car is switched on, maximises the use of pure electric propulsion, which Bentley says is ideal for city driving and shorter journeys; Hybrid mode maximises vehicle efficiency and range for longer journeys, with the intelligent navigation system providing additional data for the car to automatically adjust its predictive engine coasting and regeneration; and lastly, the Hold mode – as the name suggests – balances the engine and electric power to hold the battery at a higher charge level.
All of the energy flow can be displayed on the infotainment screen and the digital instrument cluster, where drivers can also pore into the statistics and set various timers for scheduled charging.
Aside from the powertrain underneath the sheet metal, plus all the software wizardries to make it all work, the rest of the car isn’t too different than the regular Flying Spur. Exterior visual differences are confined to just a ‘Hybrid’ badge on the front fender, quad oval tailpipes, and an extra charging port on the left rear fender.
Standard customisation choices include seven exterior colours to choose from, alongside 20- to 22-inch wheels. But of course, this being a Bentley, you can always ask the Mulliner customisation arm to make one exclusively for you with all the personalisations your mind can dream of.