Sometime back Bentley was known for its W12 powertrain and its penchant for fast yet supremely comfortable cars while also being dipped in luxury. However, with the Bentayga hybrid, the British luxury brand took a small but significant step towards electrification. Now, it is expanding its hybrid line-up with additional models looking at different ends of the market. The big talking point is the addition of the sportier Bentayga S hybrid and the more comfort-focused Azure model.
Half of Bentley’s range is now hybrid and the new powertrain has a more powerful electric motor with an increased range of 27 miles while having 15 per cent more torque along with more horsepower as well. The S Hybrid is the Bentayga for those who want guilt-free performance along with a more dynamic personality.
Combined output is a healthy 456 bhp which includes a 3.0-litre TFSI V6 petrol engine and 100 kW electric motor-generator. Like any Bentley, the S Hybrid is fast as it devours the 0 to 100 km/h time in just 5.3 seconds while settling down onto a top speed of 254 km/h. However, it is the way the performance is delivered that is a change with these hybrid models as there is more torque from the word go and delivers a V8-like thrust in terms of effortless performance.
A stiffer chassis coupled with a sportier soundtrack also enable this Bentayga to be a driver’s choice while the exterior design sure conveys this message rather loudly. The S Hybrid shuns chrome in favour of numerous black accents which contrast nicely with the extrovert colour palette. Black door mirrors, side sills, dark-tint headlamps, black radiator grille and 22-inch wheels make it a looker while the Speed-style spoiler along with dark-tint tail-lamps complete the new sinister vibe that this car exudes.
Inside, it isn’t the usual flourish of leather, wood and chrome as it is a sportier place with Dinamica upholstery and a more discreet look. That said, for traditional Bentley loyalists, the Azure Hybrid could be a more appealing prospect since it puts the focus solely on comfort and luxury with the additional help of the electrified hybrid powertrain.
Unlike the S, the 3.0-litre V6 and the electric motor this time have been tuned to deliver utmost silence coupled with enhanced ride comfort. The Azure models also get the Front Seat Comfort Specification with 22-way adjustable seats along with a heating/ventilation function too.
Performance isn’t the focus here as much as the well-being of the passengers and seat comfort. More driver assistance systems are also provided in the equipment list. The Azure Hybrid also wears the traditional Bentley look layered with details like the bright chrome lower bumper grilles, Azure badging, 22-inch ten-spoke wheels and a Bentley ‘jewel’ filler cap.
These two new hybrid models augur well with Bentley’s vision to go full hybrid by 2025 and eventually being an all-electric luxury brand by 2030.