Bentley is pushing back the dawn of its all-electric age.
The British marque is delaying the release of its first all-electric model by a year to 2026, according to Automotive News Europe. No reason was given for the schedule change, but it is said to be unrelated to the EV software issues that parent company Volkswagen AG is currently experiencing.
The news comes directly from Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark. The executive told the publication that the delay will just be a “matter of months” as opposed to a full year. The marque still intends to reveal the car in 2025, but it won’t go on sale until the next year. He also said the schedule change doesn’t have anything to do with the software delays that are currently hampering Audi’s Artemis project, which the all-electric Bentley will be a part of. Despite this, he did admit that the development of the battery-powered vehicle hasn’t been without its difficulties.
The Bentley EXP 100 GT concept Photo by Kelly Serfoss, courtesy of Bentley Motors Limited.
“We are right in the middle of that process, which is demanding because we have to do pre-development work that we never did with previous programs,” Hallmark is quoted as saying.
The report also suggests that previous speculation that Bentley’s first EV will be an SUV was off the mark. The vehicle is now expected to be a coupé, according to the weekly newspaper. Little else is known about the model, except that it could boast up to 1,400 hp and that at least one variant will cost in excess of $250,000.
Bentley did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Robb Report.
Whether the delay ends up being a “matter of months” or a full year, it still leaves Bentley having to make up ground on the competition. One of the automaker’s closest rivals, Rolls-Royce, announced on Thursday that its first EV, the Spectre coupé, had entered the second stage of testing. The coupé is expected to make its official debut before the year is out.
Despite the delay, it would appear that Bentley’s $3 billion Beyond 100 electrification plan remains on track. Two years ago, the automaker announced that by 2026, it planned to sell only plug-in hybrid and EVs, and that by 2030 every single car it built would be battery-electric. Its first all-electric model may not arrive as soon as originally expected, but nothing else has changed for the time being.