Speaking with Autocar, Mulsanne product and marketing manager Hans Holzgartner said an electric powertrain for the sedan was under consideration. The reason comes down to Chinese lawmakers considering only allowing electric vehicles in certain cities. Holzgartner also referenced similar legislation being considered in certain parts of Europe.
“At the moment, the indication is that full electric will be the only way that you’ll get into some of the cities in China. I wouldn’t say we’re discounting [hybrid engines] completely, but it looks like if you don’t have a full electric drive, even some of the hybrid drives just won’t get into some cities in China,” said Holzgartner.
An electric powertrain would fit the characteristics of the Mulsanne's V8 - delivering a lot of low-end torque.
“With a Mulsanne-sized car, it’s all about torque anyway. The delivery characteristics of electric drive — loads of bottom-end torque, almost silent delivery, very smooth — they all fit.
The big challenge is trying to make an electric Mulsanne as interesting to drive as the current gas model.
“Our challenge is to make something that’s as interesting to drive as a current Bentley, because while a Mulsanne will be driven in almost silent mode even with a petrol engine, if you’ve got a Mulsanne Speed you’ll want to let rip every so often. That’s going to be the challenge: creating something that can be fun as well.”
Pic Credit: Bentley