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Bentley Interested in Future Electric Program

Bentley looking at future electric racing program; attended Extreme E launch…

Photo: Bentley

Bentley is looking at a possible future electric racing program and attended last week’s Extreme E launch in London.

A leading engineer from the Volkswagen Group-owned manufacturer was present at the launch which outlined plans for a silhouette SUV series racing in some of the world’s most remote and environmentally challenged parts of the world.

“We went to listen. I sent one of my engineers down to just listen to it. Let’s see, it could be interesting,” Bentley Motorsport director Brian Gush told e-racing365.

“Let’s see what they said. I haven’t seen the presentation yet. I think there will be a few questions and answers.”

Extreme E will allow for manufacturers to ‘style’ the silhouette SUV cars and also contribute to development of some aspects of the powertrains.

The series will use two McLaren Applied Technologies batteries producing approximately 550 kW of power.

Bentley confirmed last year that its entire range will be available with an electric powertrain option by 2025.

It has introduced a plug-in hybrid version of the Bentayga SUV which utilizes an electric motor alongside a new 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.

“It’s well publicized [we have recently launched] a plug-in hybrid,” said Gush.

“If that’s the way the car market is going, then we need to race what we’re selling. Because it’s all about brand building.

“But I don’t think the [Extreme E] regulations are that clear yet.”

In addition to the hybrid Bentley Bentayga SUV, the Crewe-based luxury carmaker also revealed an all-electric concept car at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

The Bentley’s EXP 12 Speed 6e Concept featured a high-performance electric powertrain with a reported range of approximately 310 miles.

John Dagys contributed to this report

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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