Bentley’s First Electric Vehicle Set For Production in 2019

Bentley is entering the race toward electrification with its first electric vehicle to begin production in 2019.

The new electric vehicle is a medium-sized, two-seater sports car modeled after the EXP12 Speed 6e concept presented at March’s Geneva Auto Show.

According to Motor Authority, it is expected to share Porsche’s J1 electric platform, the same one used for the Mission E. No word yet on its capabilities, but its EXP12 concept suggested a 300-mile range with four-wheel drive, likely resulting in two motors placed in the front and rear.

The EXP12 Speed 6e has also moved to the top of Bentley’s priority list, taking precedence over a smaller version of the Bentayga SUV no longer considered for production. In an about-face from the Bentley boss’ remarks last year about producing a second, smaller SUV by 2020, more reasons were given for the decision, although speculation abounds that the decision came about due to perceptions a second, less expensive SUV could dilute the brand and the lineup.

“What I can say is that a small SUV is no longer on the scheme,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley CEO. “We’re favoring a car with a full electric powertrain. We intend to be the leader in electrification in the luxury segment. We see that it fits into the Bentley scheme – low rev torque with seamless acceleration.”

The EV announcement follows Bentley’s confirmed plans for launching three plug-in hybrids, the Bentayga V6 PHEV, Continental GT, and Flying Spur, in 2018.

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