Bentley Motors large luxury sedan, the Mulsanne, which was launched in 2010 and updated a few months ago has a few more years in its career. At this point Bentley could decide which route to opt for its successor given the choice of technology applications that could be used in line with the stricter emissions and fuel efficiency legislation.
Will it be petrol, mild hybrid or pure electric? Too early to tell, but there are some indicators emerging from UK as to what could happen eventually.
What we know is the current powertrain in the Mulsanne uses the ultimate evolution of Bentley’s twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V8 engine which offers 530hp and 811 lbs-ft of torque. Tweaking this set-up could offer a few more hp and torque – but nothing earth shattering.
The second option would be to pair it with electric motors which could act either as torque booster or drive the car on its own power in stop-start city traffic with limited all-electric driving range and then switch over seamlessly to the ICE. This package would be similar to that’s used in the Bentagya hybrid SUV.
Third option would be to go all-electric. This is more likely than the above two options as the model will benefit from next-generation battery technology that can over decent driving range and fast charging capabilities.
If the third option is chosen, then design has to be ground-up to help accommodate the engineering requirements and packaging.
As of now we know Bentley remains firmly committed to offering an electrified version of every single model it makes and that the motivation towards electrification comes from China, one of its key markets according to Hans Holzgartner, product and marketing manager of the Mulsanne line. “I wouldn’t say we’re discounting [hybrid engines] completely, but it looks like if you don’t have a full electric drive, even some of the hybrid drives just won’t get into some cities in China,” says Holzgartner.