Originally published on CleanTechnica.
The UK-based luxury auto manufacturer Bentley may release a small all-electric SUV — positioned below the Bentayga — according to recent reports.
The news, which originates with comments from company execs, suggests that company execs don’t think a small electric SUV will drastically cannibalize Bentayga sales.
“I can assure you that Bentley — on the long term view — will not stay with one model only in the SUV lineup,” commented Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer, at the recent launch of Continental Supersports. “We have clear indications that a smaller Bentayga as a Bentley SUV would find great acceptance.”
And if it’s made electric from the ground up, than total sales could well increase more than with another SUV using an internal combustion engine (ICE).
“If you are looking for such a car (small SUV) then we are looking to that in combination with the possibilities to go full electric,” commented Rolf Frech, Bentley’s board member for engineering. “It only makes sense if you get really new customers into the brand.”
Automotive News provides some context: “An all-electric SUV could spell trouble for a Bentley sports coupe teased by the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept. Bentley likely lacks the resources to develop both an electric SUV and a production version of the EXP 10 after the financial toll of VW Group’s emissions crisis. And the regulatory benefits of a zero-emissions vehicle may be too great to ignore.”
It should be noted here that if the company does develop the speculated small electric SUV, it wouldn’t hit the market anytime soon — according to Frech, no sooner than 2020 or so.
As a reminder, Bentley is reportedly now working to develop plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of all of its models.
Reprinted with permission.