Bentley Motors will reinvent itself as a maker of luxury electric vehicles with its first sporty car in late 2025, followed by a new EV each year for the subsequent four years. It is part of the “Beyond 100” plan, first announced in November 2021, that will reinvent the luxury brand as an electric-only vehicle company by 2030.
The first EV is due in late 2025 and will play in a new segment for the brand, Bentley Chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark said today in a press conference from the plant in Crewe, U.K., where the car is being developed and will be assembled. He would not provide details of the new vehicle other than to say it will be “different from what we have today,” and that it will be a fast and sporty large car.
Five New Electric Bentleys In Five Years
After it debuts, each year one of the existing models in the lineup will be replaced by a new electric vehicle in the largest product offensive in Bentley’s history. Each model will be designed and developed in Crewe to offer outstanding performance and power, expressive design, and effortless luxury and craftsmanship, said Member of the Board for Engineering Matthias Rabe.
The plan is a game changer for the storied 102-year-old company that is part of the Volkswagen Group. The goal is to lead the competition as the No.1 luxury EV brand, Hallmark said.
Bentley is spending about $2.8 billion on the product development and transformation of the Crewe plant into a “Dream Factory” to make EVs in the future. The brand also has access to research and technology as part of the Volkswagen Group and is working with the Audi Group to define the performance EV platform.
EVs Will Make Bentley Bigger And More Profitable
The plan requires a huge investment, but the switch to EVs is expected to yield higher volumes and double-digit returns in the future. Bentley is expected to announce record earnings when returns are released in March. Sales reached a record of almost 15,000 units in 2021, and buyers are choosing more options, customization, and bespoke orders. Most transactions exceeded $280,000.
Currently, Bentley’s electrification strategy consists of two plug-in hybrids: the Bentley Bentayga PHEV was introduced last year and has been joined by the Bentley Flying Spur PHEV. To date about 20 percent of the Bentaygas sold have been hybrids, which is significant given that the SUV accounts for about 40 percent of Bentley’s total sales. This year Bentley forecasts 20 percent of total sales will be hybrids.
You Get A PHEV And You Get A PHEV
By 2024, every model will have a PHEV option, prior to every model being replaced by a battery-electric vehicle. Before the lineup goes completely electric, look for derivatives of existing models to keep them fresh, including some Mulliner “surprises.” By 2030, Bentley is expected to be a larger, more profitable, and carbon neutral automaker, Hallmark says. “We may be 102 years old, but we’ve never felt younger.”