The Bentley Hybrid concept will debut at the 2014 Beijing auto show later this month, previewing a new plug-in drivetrain that will power the luxury brand's upcoming SUV now due in 2017.
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Claimed to increase power by up to 25 per cent and reduce CO

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emissions by 70 per cent, all “without compromise to luxury”, the premium British marque says the Mulsanne-based Bentley Hybrid concept showcases technology that will be first applied to its future SUV. No official power or efficiency details have been revealed for the 5.57-metre long model, which without the extra weight of battery technology weighs a hefty 2665 kilograms.

That SUV – previewed by the Bentley EXP 9F concept at the 2012 Geneva motor show – has now been pushed back to 2017 despite being confirmed for a 2016 release in July last year. It will become Bentley’s first plug-in hybrid model.

Bentley Hybrid Concept

Applying Bentley's efficiency and power claims to the 377kW/1020Nm twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V8-powered Mulsanne, which has emissions of 393g/km and combined cycle fuel consumption of 16.9L/100km, the future SUV’s figures could theoretically account for 470kW of power with efficiency of approximately 118g/km and 5.0L/100km.

Further, Bentley says its hybrids will also offer a pure electric range of “at least 50km”.

Referring to itself as the first luxury brand to present a plug-in hybrid model, Bentley chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Schreiber said the plug-in hybrid technology remains true to Bentley’s values of outstanding luxury and effortless performance.

Bentley Hybrid Concept

"Combining our renowned engines with electric power reinforces and enhances both principles, and so we will gradually introduce this powertrain across our model range,” Schreiber said.

“By the end of the decade, at least 90 per cent of our production will be available as a plug-in hybrid. We are proud to be pioneering these developments in the luxury sector.”

In a visual nod to the concept's electrified internals, copper has been used throughout the concept’s exterior and interior design. The orange material appears on the headlights, grille surround, brake calipers, body trim, badges, instruments and seat stitching.

The Bentley Hybrid concept will be displayed in Beijing from April 20 alongside the Flying Spur V8, Continental GT Speed and the Continental GT V8 S.

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Bentley Hybrid Concept