Maserati, Bently, announce electrified vehicles

In another sign of the shift to electric vehicles, both Maserati and Bently have announced new models with either hybrid or plug-in hybrid drive trains. While that’s a bit of a yawn since both types of vehicles still depend on fossil fuels, it is two more auto manufacturers changing their direction.

For Bently, the company is taking its first step towards electrification with a plug-in hybrid SUV. It’s described as the “first true luxury plug-in hybrid”. The drive train has a yawn-inducing 24 miles of electric range, but since it is a Bently it has decent-to-high-performance figures with 0-60 miles/hr in 5 seconds and a top speed of 158 miles/hr. No doubt that’s due to the 3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine.

What’s more important is that Bently promises every vehicle in their lineup will be electrified by 2023.

For Maserati, the announcement covers both electrification and autonomous driving. The press release below talks more about investments in new manufacturing facilities, and little about drive train details. It appears that several Maserati models will have either hybrid or fully electric drive trains.

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Maserati is promising both Level 2 and Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities. This is close to full autonomy, with the ability to maneuver in and out of lanes or bring the vehicle to a safe stop at the side of the road if the driver is unable to take control of the vehicle.

Since both of these announcements concern luxury cars with a mild amount of electrification, we do not see much gain in terms of reaching the goal of a clean energy system. The primary gain is a promise that in the future both companies will be doing even more in this regard. That both companies are changing direction towards electric drive trains may be a sign of Tesla’s success in the luxury car market.

BENTLEY’S FIRST STEP TOWARDS ELECTRIFICATION: THE BENTAYGA HYBRID

  • Pioneering model is SUV sector’s first true luxury plug-in hybrid
  • Latest British-built model is Bentley’s first step towards electrification
  • Bentayga Hybrid now on sale across Europe
  • Most efficient Bentley ever, with combined CO2 emissions of 79 g/km (WLTP)
  • WLTP Equivalent All Electric range of 39 km / 24.23 miles (NEDC – 51km / 31.7 miles)
  • Technologically advanced Bentayga bringing serenity to the city and beyond through future-focussed technology
  • Intelligent Satellite Navigation features aid efficiency
  • Maximum speed of 254 km/h (158 mph) and 0 to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds (0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds)

(Crewe, 26 September 2019) Bentley has announced that the pioneering Bentayga Hybrid – the luxury SUV sector’s first true plug-in hybrid – is now on sale in Europe. Handcrafted in Crewe, England, the latest version of Bentley’s exquisitely appointed SUV will be the company’s most efficient model ever, with CO2 emissions of just 79 g/km (WLTP – weighted, combined).

The Bentayga Hybrid is the ultimate grand tourer, offering a serene and luxurious driving experience through future-focussed technology. Already on sale in North America, order books are now open across Europe too.

Entering the market as the world’s first true electrified luxury car, the Bentayga Hybrid is also the first step on Bentley’s journey into the new world of electric vehicles, which will see the marque roll out an electrified version of every nameplate by 2023.

In the British brand’s centenary year, Bentley’s first plug-in hybrid model will create an all-new experience in the luxury SUV sector. It combines a new, highly efficient 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine – which incorporates the latest technologies to optimise both efficiency and performance – with a state-of-the-art electric motor delivering an instantaneous response.

Among the cutting-edge driver systems are several Intelligent Satellite Navigation features specific to the Bentayga Hybrid. Upon entering a journey into the system, the optimum combination of electric motor and engine will automatically be calculated and used for most effective use of hybrid power. According to the current position of the car, the system will also clearly illustrate on-screen the maximum remaining range in EV mode. 

Before taxes, the new model is priced at £133,100 in the UK, €141,100 across Europe, and $160,000 in the United States. Customer deliveries in the UK and Europe are set to begin in the final quarter of 2019, with deliveries in the United States following soon after, in the first quarter of 2020.

Bentayga Hybrid – Serenity Through Technology

The Bentayga Hybrid utilises an advanced and efficient E Motor, which acts as both an electric motor and a power generator. The Permanent Magnet Synchronous system offers 94 kW peak power and 400 Nm of torque, allowing swift and silent acceleration from stationary. The system provides instant torque response by eliminating engine turbo lag, while a state-of-the-art, high voltage battery is capable of recharging in just 2.5 hours.

The E Motor in the Bentayga Hybrid is combined with a new 3.0-litre, turbocharged V6 petrol engine. The result is a seamless driving experience that offers 700 Nm of combined torque, a top speed of 254 km/h (158 mph) and 0 to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds (0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds). 

Bentley’s latest Bentayga model has three hybrid drive modes. In EV Drive mode, the all-new hybrid is driven only with energy supplied from the battery to the wheels via the electric motor. In hybrid Mode the car uses information from the navigation system to intelligently optimise power usage from the battery and the petrol engine, giving maximum efficiency and range. In Hold mode the use of engine and electric power is balanced to maintain electric range for later use – for example on arriving in a city. In all modes energy is recovered to the battery through regeneration during deceleration.

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With a total driving range of 747 km (464 miles) and a WLTP Equivalent All Electric range of 39 km/24.23 miles (NEDC Electric Range of 51km/31.7 miles) on a single charge, the hybrid represents a new dimension to the existing range of refined and luxurious Bentayga models. Effortless performance and the same sure-footed, all-wheel drive ability ensure a unique driving experience in the finest automotive cabin in the world.

Returning CO2 emissions of just 79 g/km (WLTP – weighted, combined), and 3.5 l/100km (80.7 mpg) on the WLTP weighted, combined cycle, the Bentayga Hybrid is Bentley’s most efficient model to date, combining the serenity of silent motoring with supreme levels of comfort and performance. The ultimate grand touring experience, it is the world’s first true luxury, hybrid plug-in that feels and rides like a true Bentley.

Each handcrafted Bentayga Hybrid requires 130 hours to build in Crewe, England. Sculpted with an elegant, timeless execution, hybrid’s style perfectly balances athleticism with confidence. The world’s most luxurious SUV also has the world’s finest automotive cabin, the epitome of modern British design and available with a range of unique personalisation options.

MASERATI ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR ALL-NEW MODELS TO BE DEVELOPED, ELECTRIFIED AND PRODUCED IN ITALY

Modena, 26 September 2019 – In line with FCA’s €5 billion investment program for Italy, Maserati announces its innovation plan for production, electrification and autonomous driving technologies.

With regards to production, Maserati announces plans for its lineup of new and electrified products at Modena, Cassino and Turin (Mirafiori and Grugliasco).

All of Maserati’s new models will be 100 percent made in Italy and will adopt hybrid and battery electric propulsion systems capable of providing both innovation and the high performance embedded in the brand’s DNA. Maserati’s all-electric models will combine traditional highly appreciated Maserati driving dynamics together with next-generation battery-electric technology, offering unique driving modes, extended range, and ultra-fast charging capabilities.

An important step for Maserati innovation is the level of Autonomous Driving. All of the new Maserati, including the updated current models, will offer a range of autonomous driving capabilities, starting with Maserati Level 2 enhanced Highway Assist progressing to Level 3 with hands-off offering close to full autonomy, having the ability to maneuver in and out of lanes or bring the vehicle to a safe stop at the side of the road if the driver is unable to take control of the vehicle.

In 2020, the Company will embark on electrification and the Maserati Ghibli, produced in Turin, will be the first hybrid-electric propulsion for the brand.

The first of the totally new Maserati to appear will be the eagerly-anticipated sports car – packed with technology and reminiscent of Maserati’s traditional values. It will be produced in the Modena plant, where major production line upgrades are also underway to accommodate its electric powertrain.

Next up will be a new Maserati utility vehicle, set to be built at Cassino and destined to play a leading role for the Brand thanks to its innovative technologies. An investment of approximately €800 million has been earmarked for the construction of the new production line, scheduled to open at the end of the first quarter of 2020. The first pre-series cars are expected to roll off the line by 2021.

After many years of success, GranTurismo and GranCabrio remain part of the Brand’s roots and these models will herald the full electrification era for Maserati. The totally new GranTurismo and GranCabrio will be produced at the Turin production hub, where FCA is investing €800 million.

Production of the new models will complement that of the prestigious and continuously improving line-up of current Maserati range: Levante, Quattroporte, and Ghibli.

With the introduction of various product innovations, Maserati is reinforcing the importance of Italy with regards to its production — particularly Modena, which will also continue to play a strategic role as the Brand’s headquarters.

Construction has already begun in Modena on a paint shop, a new feature for the plant, which will be equipped with innovative, low environmental impact technologies. The design of the paint shop will also allow Maserati customers to watch their car being painted.

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Finally, Maserati is developing an entirely new customization program for customers seeking a one-of-a-kind level of exclusivity. A dedicated customization workshop will be created within the Modena plant.

The 2019-2021 FCA investment plan for Italy, announced on 29th November in Turin, includes thirteen totally new or significantly updated FCA models and electrified versions of 12 new or existing models, including the Maserati products, the recently announced all-new electric version of the Fiat 500 to be produced at Mirafiori, and a new premium vehicle for Alfa Romeo to be produced at Pomigliano.

Maserati S.p.A.

Maserati produces a complete range of unique cars with an amazing personality, immediately recognisable anywhere. With their style, technology and innately exclusive character, they delight the most discerning, demanding tastes and have always been an automotive industry benchmark. Ambassadors of this heritage are the Quattroporte flagship, the Ghibli sports sedan, the Levante, Maserati’s very first SUV, and the GranTurismo and GranCabrio sports cars. A range complete as never before, with petrol and diesel engines, rear and all-wheel drive, the finest materials and outstanding engineering. A tradition of successful cars, each of them redefining what makes an Italian sports car in terms of design, performance, comfort, elegance and safety.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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