Earlier this month, Bentley showed off its first hybrid, the Bentayga plug-in, and within the next few years, we’ll see the brand’s first all-electric car. Stefan Sielaff, design chief at Bentley, confirmed to Auto Express that an EV is in development and offered a preview of what to expect.
Pictured above: the Bentley EXP12 Speed 6e concept from 2017.
Sielaff said the Bentley EV will likely be a four- or five-seater with a swoopy coupe profile. Whether that means it’ll be a proper two-door coupe or a four-door isn’t yet confirmed, but Auto Express seems to think the latter is more likely.
“We are still in the phase of trying to define what it could be,” Sielaff told Auto Express. “I think it should be a vehicle that contains a certain coupe-style or sportivity, and also a certain elegance. I don’t think it should be something that is raised high, like an SUV.”
While the Bentley EV will go with company tradition in being a sporty low-slung car, Sielaff says it’ll have a unique look, owing to its lack of an internal-combustion engine. Auto Express says the car will have a short dash-to-axle ratio and a low nose. Perhaps it could be the first cab-forward Bentley.
“It gives us a great chance to establish a completely new design language for the company,” Sielaff said. “We have to definitely adapt the proportions to the technical demands, and make a new statement.”
But despite all this, Sielaff says this car will be recognizable as a Bentley at first glance.
Sielaff didn’t offer any technical details on this car, but as we’ve previously reported, it’s expected to ride on the same platform as the upcoming Porsche Mission E. This platform, called J1 internally, will also underpin Audi Sport’s first EV, the recently announced e-Tron GT.
The Mission E is set to begin production next year, and Audi promises the e-Tron GT will arrive in 2020. There’s no date announced for the Bentley but Sielaff says its arrival “will happen not so far in the future.”