Bentley plugs in: hybrid Bentayga spotted

Published: 07 July 2017

► Hybrid Bentley Bentayga spotted 
► 3.0-litre engine and electric motor 
► Extra ‘fuel flap’ conceals charger socket 

It’s no secret that Bentley has been working on a plug-in hybrid version of its Bentayga 4×4, and now a prototype has been spotted undergoing hot-weather testing in southern Europe.

How do we know this one’s a plug-in?

Easiest clue is that this Bentayga has a fuel-cap style flap on both sides of the car, with the left-hand one covering the charger socket.

Bentley Bentayga hybrid

The DVLA has this particular car registered as an electric hybrid, with a 2995cc engine.

It’s been understood for some time that Bentley would use a V6 engine in the hybrid Bentayga, but it had been expected to be the same 2894cc petrol unit as the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid. Is the bigger cubic capacity a misprint, or a tune-up for the bulkier Bentayga?

We’ll know more soon, with the PHEV Bentley Bentayga earmarked for launch in 2018. Hybrid variants of the new Continental GT, due for reveal at the 2017 Frankfurt show, are also in the pipeline.

Click here for Georg Kacher’s review of the diesel Bentley Bentayga, and here for Ben Barry’s review of the US-spec petrol W12 model.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer