By Ronan Glon
Saturday, Jan 19th, 2013 @ 8:49 am
 
Cornered by increasingly strict regulations in countries all around the globe, Bentley is looking at ways to reduce its fleet's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. After toying around with downsized engines, CEO Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber has admitted that the firm will launch its first plug-in hybrid vehicle in the near future.
Schreiber explained that in spite of its weight disadvantage, a plug-in hybrid drivetrain is the best forward because it offers better fuel economy than a comparable diesel powertrain and it can be sold in markets that have long pouted oil-burners.

The CEO said that the first gasoline-electric Bentley hybrid is at least three years away but he did not hint at which model will be the first to use the gas-saving technology. However, rumors indicate that the most likely candidates are the four-door Continental Flying Spur and the firm's upcoming SUV.

Hot-rodded diesels? Not a chance

Although a Bentley-badged plug-in hybrid will soon become a reality, don't expect the firm to ditch the spark-ignition engine in favor of a low-revving turbodiesel mill.

"To be honest, diesel is not really a priority for us - our main markets such as China, the US and the Middle East don't care about diesel," said Schreiber in an interview with England's Auto Express. "It's only really popular in Europe and not even the whole of Europe. Russia, for example, isn't interested."