Bentley replaces W12 with 740bhp, 50-mile plug-in hybrid

Bentley has confirmed that it will replace its outgoing W12 engine with a V8-based plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain that puts out more than 740bhp.

The firm added that the set-up will produce, in metric units, “four-figure torque over a wider plateau”, suggesting it will at least match the 738lb ft of the tuned W12 in the limited-run Batur.

Bentley has yet to disclose the technical specifications of the new engine or its electricals but said the powertrain will deliver an electric-only range of 50 miles between charges and CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km.

The Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur will be updated with the new powertrains later this year, replacing both the standard V8 and the W12 in each instance.

The Bentayga will offer a pure-combustion engine until 2026, at which point it will go hybrid-only.

The V6-based plug-in hybrid powertrains in both the Bentayga and Flying Spur will remain on sale.

The new details come shortly after former Bentley announced significant investment into plug-in hybrids. Former CEO Adrian Hallmark, who was recently named the next boss of Aston Martin, said Bentley will spend “hundreds of millions” on PHEVs that will be offered for sale into the early 2030s.

He hailed PHEVs as a “transitional technology” for reducing CO2 emissions and acclimatising drivers to electric driving.

As well as upping investment in PHEVs, Bentley also delayed its first battery-electric car from next year to late 2026. Hallmark cited delays to the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) programme as the reason for pushing back the new car. These issues also set back the arrival of the Audi Q6 E-tron and the electric Porsche Macan.

He added that the delay would allow further development of the EV’s advanced driver assistance systems.

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