The Bentley Motors factory in Crewe, the UK. Picture: REUTERS/PHIL NOBLE
The Bentley Motors factory in Crewe, the UK. Picture: REUTERS/PHIL NOBLE

Bentley Motors will axe the roaring 12-cylinder combustion engines that shaped much of the British luxury-car maker’s 100-year history to focus on electric vehicles, the latest seismic automotive shift driven by stricter emissions rules.

Bentley will offer only hybrid and electric cars by 2026, and switch its entire line-up to fully-electric vehicles four years later, the Crewe, England-based manufacturer said Thursday in a statement.

The company will become “a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury”, CEO Adrian Hallmark said.

Bentley’s accelerated transformation towards battery-powered vehicles is part of a $40bn push by its German parent Volkswagen, which is developing the industry’s biggest line-up of electric cars as it seeks to challenge Tesla.

For starters, Bentley will add two plug-in hybrid models in 2021. The company had already announced that every model line will offer a hybrid version by 2023, with the company’s first fully electric model to be introduced in 2025. The brand wants to make its operations carbon-neutral by 2030.

Volkswagen already has rolled out the Porsche Taycan, the VW ID. 3 and the Audi e-Tron models as part of its target to offer 75 electric cars by the end of the decade.



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