Bentley has unveiled that it will launch its first all-electric model as a sports car by 2019. The fifth car in the British manufacturer’s range was previously thought to be an SUV that would sit below the Bentayga but Bentley has now confirmed that the electric sports car will arrive first. Bentley boss Wolfgang Durheimer has previously said that the decision for the fifth model was between an SUV and a two-seater electric sports car based on the EXP12 Speed 6e concept shown at the Geneva motor show earlier this year. At the Frankfurt motor show, Durheimer confirmed the tactics for the electric sports car saying, “What I can say is that a small SUV is no longer on the scheme. We’re favoring a car with a full electric powertrain.” Asked at the Frankfurt motor show whether a choice had been made, Durheimer said: “What I can say is that a small SUV is no longer on the scheme. We’re favoring a car with a full electric powertrain. We intend to be the leader in electrification in the luxury segment. We see that it fits into the Bentley scheme – low rev torque with seamless acceleration.”
As the 2-seater electric sports car is probable to be underpinned by the larger Porsche Mission E platform that is yet to arrive, the model will be larger than EXP12 Speed 6e concept. While Bentley had ruled out making a production-specification version of the EXP12 Speed 6e, the concept hints at the design direction of the upcoming two-seater sports car. The concept that was showcased at Geneva was powered by more than one electric motor with a suggested range of about 480km and four-wheel-drive. The EXP12 Speed 6e concept was a bit larger than the Aston Martin V8 Vantage but touch shorter than a Continental GT. The production-spec Bentaly sports car EV is expected to be slightly longer than the concept. At the Frankfurt motor show, Dürheimer also confirmed that the firm would offer 3 plug-in hybrid models in its line-up – the Bentayga V6 plug-in hybrid, which will reach first, and the Continental and Flying Spur.