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2021 Bentayga Hybrid Brings Plug-In Tech to Bentley's Updated SUV

A gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain returns to the Bentley SUV's engine lineup for 2021.

Greg FinkAuthor

Bentley plans to wean itself off internal-combustion engines by the end of the decade, and its latest attempt at embracing electrification comes in the form of the updated 2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid. Like the rest of the 2021 Bentayga lineup, the gasoline-electric Bentayga Hybrid benefits from fresh styling inside and out. 

As its name implies, the Bentayga Hybrid trades the V-8 engine of the run-of-the-mill Bentayga for a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain made up of a V-6 engine and electric motor. The basic recipe of the 2021 Bentayga Hybrid remains the same as its 2020 counterpart, with a forced induction V-6 engine and an electric motor producing a combined peak output of 443 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission channels that grunt to all four wheels courtesy of the SUV's standard all-wheel-drive system.

Electricity by Default

Despite its gas engine, the 2021 Bentayga Hybrid defaults to its EV Drive mode on startup, meaning it relies exclusively on the 126-hp electric motor for motivation. An active accelerator pedal adds a distinct pressure point and haptic feedback to discourage drivers from awakening the luxury SUV's 3.0-liter engine (the six-pot, however, automatically fires up at speeds above 84 mph).

While the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to test the 2021 Bentayga Hybrid's electric driving range (or fuel economy for that matter), it estimates the 2020 model manages 18 miles of range on a full charge of its 17-kWh battery pack. We expect this performance to carry over more or less unchanged to the 2021 Bentayga Hybrid given it also relies on a 17-kWh pack and is similarly heavy. 

Other drive modes include Hybrid and Hold, the former of which relies on data from the navigation system to maximize the efficiency of the Bentayga Hybrid by using some combination of the SUV's gasoline engine and electric motor for motivation. Hold mode, meanwhile, works to maintain the battery's charge for later use. It's also the state the powertrain enters when the driver selects the Bentayga Hybrid's Sport mode.

Still Something Special

For better or worse, the 2021 Bentayga Hybrid looks much the same as its V-8 counterpart. Still, those with eagle eyes are sure to note small differences such as the Hybrid's rear-fender-mounted electric charge port door, model-specific badging, energy flow meter display option within the SUV's 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and digital gauge cluster that includes the likes of a battery status meter. 

Additionally, a limited-run of 2021 Bentayga Hybrid First Edition models offer distinct exterior badging, as well as leather seats with embroidered backs and special contrast-stitching on the diamond quilts.

Look for the 2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid to reach customers in the United States before the middle of the year with a base price of $183,225.