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More combustion-engined Bentleys still to come before EV transition

While Bentley has committed to offering only plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains from 2026 onwards, with EV-only models from 2030, chairman Adrian Hallmark said the firm is planning “an autumn rush” of new and updated versions of its combustion-engined cars in the next decade.

Hallmark wouldn’t be drawn on details but said Bentley plans to “release a multitude of derivatives over the next three years” and will continue to invest in traditional powertrains, including plug-in hybrid variants.

He said: “The problem with talking about strategy is that 10 years isn’t a long time but it’s short enough. When you talk about strategy, people will say: ‘Well, does that mean tomorrow you’re not building engines?’ Well, we are, and part of the discussion with governance is about how industry adapts.

“You can’t just have a turnoff, turn-on approach. We’ve invested heavily in EU6 and EU7 hybrids and the industry has spent hundreds of billions between us investing in these new technologies. They’ve all delivered massive improvements versus previous technologies.

“There is time to take full advantage of that investment and huge advances in product innovation that we’re throwing into the market in the next three to five years in the conventional technology space.

“With the hybrids, we hope they will carry on beyond whatever the earlier banned date is for pure-combustion-engined vehicles. Because they’re the same architecture as combustion-engined vehicles, we’ll innovate in terms of connectivity, autonomous driving capability and more electrification. All of those things will be part of our plan before we get to 2030 when we’re full-electric.”

Hallmark added that Bentley is still monitoring the development of green synthetic fuels – which could be vital for the airline industry – in the hope that they could allow the company to keep offering clean combustion-engined continuation models in the future.

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