Bentley is looking to make its first EV “brave” in terms of styling, but will it really be all that different?

After Bentley showcases the EXP 100 GT Concept last year as an electric car of the future, everyone has been wondering what Bentley will really do as it moves into the new land of electrification. The EXP 100 GT looked good and all, but it’s a little too modern, so to speak, in some areas. The good news is that we may actually find out exactly what Bentley’s first move into electrification will be, as a Bentley electric car could be launched as soon as 2025.

What Will an Electric Bentley Be Like?

Bentley's First Electric Car Could Be Largely Different Than What We're Used To Exterior
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At this point, Bentley’s design team is only experimenting with styling for an electric car and what a production model might look like. In the past, Bentley boss, Adrian Hallmark, has said that the company is “in a rush” to build an electric car but the technology won’t credibly exist until at least 2025, so this is, in a way, a big step forward. It’s really a step forward when Bentley has at least partially committed to launching an EV by 2025. But, what will that EV look like? It certainly can’t be as futuristic as the EXP 100 GT Concept, right?

Well, in an interview with Autocar, Bentley’s Design Director, Stefan Sielaff, said that the future EV will be a “Bentley” but the proportions won’t be what we’re used to:

Bentley's First Electric Car Could Be Largely Different Than What We're Used To Exterior
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”We are experimenting at the moment with an EV. My instinct is to create an EV which is a very modern step forward. It always has to be a Bentley, but the proportions of an EV will look different.”

To defend this ideal, Sielaff decided to look at other EV makers new and old:

”If we look at the Taycan, it’s still a Porsche. If you look at Tesla, they don’t look deliberately dramatic. I admire, as a designer, BMW for doing the i3, but if you speak to customers, they say it looks ugly.”

We have to admit that we whole-heartedly agree when it comes to his thoughts on the i3. It really looks nothing like a traditional BMW, and it did draw a lot of negative opinions at least as far as appearance was concerned. Some people did like it, but a lot didn’t. So, we know that Bentley is going to make something different, but it won’t be so different that it will fall under the same light as the BMW i3 did. The design will be brave and Bentley will rely on its brand identity to help its transition into electrification.

Bentley's First Electric Car Could Be Largely Different Than What We're Used To Exterior
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”We have to look at the bigger perspective and be brave. When it arrives at market, it has to be right. Bentley’s brand identity will be very helpful.”

What all this really means falls far into individual interpretation territory, but I believe that the first Bentley EV is going to be big, and that’s a good thing. That size will enable Bentley to instill it with a large enough battery for decent range.

What Kind of Performance Will an Electric Bentley Offer?

Bentley's First Electric Car Could Be Largely Different Than What We're Used To Exterior
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With the Bentley EV likely to be on the large side, we suspect it will be powered by at least a 100 kWh battery pack, and it could be offered with 2 or four electric motors, with the latter probably coming sometime down that road after it launches. Since it’s a Bentley, it won’t be about over-performing, so you can expect the company to dial back on general performance – as in 60-mph sprints and top speed – to preserve range and usability. I’d expect somewhere around 400 miles of range if Bentley can develop a large enough battery pack and horsepower figures will be somewhere in the 500-600 horsepower range. It will still be a Bentley after all so, while the company will dial back some on performance to preserve range, it won’t be a turd, either. I wouldn’t expect a 60-mph sprint below five seconds or a top speed beyond 120 mph. Bentley is about having the ultimate luxury machine, and that’s exactly what the upcoming Bentley EV will be. The real question is whether or not it will be an SUV, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept specifications
Engine Next Generation Traction Drive
Horsepower 816-1,360 HP
Torque 1,500 Nm (1,106 lb-ft)
Range 700 km (435 miles)
0 to 60 mph 2.5 seconds
Top Speed 300 kph (186 mph)
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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