Palatial Bentley SUV to get plug-in hybrid power for 2017 [video]

The British purveyor of road-legal luxury tanks will launch a hybrid version of its upcoming SUV within four years, most likely a plug-in hybrid. Eventually Bentley will also sell a hybrid version of every car it builds, sharing the technology with Audi, Porsche and other Volkswagen Group brands.

“The SUV will be the first Bentley hybrid because it’s based on a new platform with new technology. You need space for batteries and the technology, so we probably won’t do that for existing models. We will see hybrid version of all of our cars, though, “ chief executive Dr Wolfgang Schreiber told AutoExpress.

With a launch date for non-hybrid versions in 2016, we ought to know the details of Bentley’s SUV as early as 2015. The company is keen to follow the lead of Range Rover, Porsche and Mercedes in the luxury SUV market, and these brands have certaintly enjoyed huge success, although Bentley won’t be the first to launch a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version. Porsche and Range Rover already offer cleaner hybrid versions of their respective SUVs, while BMW recently revealed plans of the plug-in hybrid version of the popular X5.

Critics of the only realisation of a Bentley SUV so far, the EXP 9 F concept (pictured above), will be relieved to hear that the production car’s styling will also have changed drastically. The fallout after the EXP 9 F concept’s unveiling at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show was controversial at best and a brand disaster at worst.

We hope the interior, however, remains untouched…