Plug-in SUV debuts in Geneva with up to 50km electric range

The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid has been revealed at the Geneva motor show this week, marking the classic British brand's first tentative step into electrification.

There are no obvious visual differences between the Bentayga Hybrid and its internal-combustion brethren, though copper 'Hybrid' badging and bronze Bentley badging are small giveaways. The charge plug is located on the opposite side to the fuel filler, making an additional 'filler flap' another differentiator

The new hardware is hidden under the skin. Power comes from a plug-in hybrid system pairing a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol V6 with an electric motor and generator, allowing for up to 50 kilometres of silent, local-emissions-free motoring.

Interestingly, Bentley has declined to confirm the Bentayga Hybrid's outputs or performance figures, though we reckon they'll be similar to the 340kW/700Nm outputs claimed by the Porsche Panamera 4 e-Hybrid with a 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery – it wouldn't be the first time the Bentayga has used a Porsche powertrain, after all.

The company also claims emissions of just 75g/km – an important figure in markets like Europe – along with the ability to be charged in as little as 2.5 hours.

Customers have the option of installing a 'Bentley by Starck Power Dock', styled by renowned designer Philippe Starck. The unit itself is made of a hot-pressure aluminium casing combined with a pressed "eco-linen" surround and bio-sourced thermosetting resin. Oh, it charges the car as well.

Inside, the Bentayga Hybrid carries subtle differences to its conventionally-powered siblings, with the main differences hidden in the driver display – which now features an 'EV Drive' meter in the rev counter – along with 'Hybrid' tread plates in the door sills.

There are three selectable 'E Modes' – EV Drive, Hybrid Mode and Hold Mode – toggling the desired amount of electric assistance as required, geared from maximum efficiency to energy saving.

Also new is a revised infotainment system with hybrid menus, and the satellite navigation system can calculate best usage of the electric motor and petrol engine for "every journey".

The Bentayga Hybrid is only available in four- or five-seat configurations – there's no seven-seat option like other Bentayga variants. Three sound systems are available, including a flagship 1950W 18-speaker option.

Owners will also get access to several new connected services for the first time, including a Charging Station Finder app, a function that allows for the pre-heat or cool the cabin remotely, and the ability to check vehicle status via a smartphone.

The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid will become available to order in "selected markets" from the second half of 2018. Click the photos tab for more images.