Special Reports

Bentley Offers Plug-in Hybrid Option, Transparent OLED, And Luxury Car-Sharing [Video]


The old brand luxury automaker is delving into cutting edge technology to give its esteemed luxury vehicles more relevant to the times. The company plans to incorporate plug-in hybrid drivetrains and transparent OLED in its vehicles as well as rebooting an ownership scheme of a Bentley unit.

Bentley hybrid powertrain

British automaker Bentley stated in a report that incorporating plug-in hybrid drivetrains to be ultra-luxury vehicles make the most sense for their elite customer base. Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer, speaking at Automotive News World Congress held last week in Detroit, said that all Bentley models have a PHEV variant that will be available as an option commencing in 2018, Hybrid Cars reported.

Accordingly, Bentley owners usually have chauffeurs driving them and it does not make sense to the high-end automaker to provide or offer an all-electric vehicle as an alternative powertrain. They add that corporate executives would want their drivers to ferry them out of the city to their countryside mansions without having the need to charge the vehicles.

First, to have the PHEV is Bentley's Bentayga sometime in 2018. Buyers will have an option of the PHEV variant or one solely powered by a twin-turbo W-12 engine, and a V-8 turbo diesel model, not available in the US. The second model, as announced, will be the next-generation Continental GT.

Bentley incorporates new tech

The old luxury vehicle may be an old brand but the automaker is going to experiment with innovative technology that will incorporate displays that appear as if by magic out of its wood panel interiors. In addition, last week in the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Durheimer discussed the role of the car manufacturer in a future where ownership of vehicles is predicted to dwindle, Slash Gear reported.

Bently though is not keen on ditching the traditional luxury materials Bently is known for albeit with a high-tech twist. One possibility presented is overlaying a transparent OLED display across wood veneers. Accordingly, these displays will appear invisible except when in use.

Bentley shared ownership

Bentley calls it "global Bently customer network" the idea is to have a membership scheme for access to multiple cars, rather than having exclusive ownership of one. Though still exploratory, it also presents a question of how much it would cost and what areas it might operate in.

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