Bentley recently made their first jump into the electric car market at the 2017 International Motor Show in Geneva. Bentley is saying in a recent press release, “The 6e represents a first step on a journey that will change the way today’s drivers think about mobility and what it can be”. Most believe this is Bentley’s attempt to challenge Tesla in the luxury electric category. Tesla’s sporty electrics do push into the luxury tier, but Bentley believes there’s an extra luxury stratum that is above anything its Californian rival can produce. The 6e is a car intended to challenge what we can expect from an electric car as it brings Bentley’s limousine-like qualities of luxury and opulence to a distinctly more compact form than its established Continental and Flying Spur models. Wolfgang Dürheimer, the chairman and chief executive officer of Bentley Motors, said during an interview in Geneva, “electric vehicles don’t necessarily need to look like a refrigerator. They can be appealing. They can be sexy. They can be emotional.” Of course this Bentley lives up to the name as the 6e delivers with its’ inside luxury and the outside appearance – see pictures below. Of note, are the rear-view cameras that replace mirrors and the “lopped off” crescent shaped steering wheel with two glass topped buttons – one for an extra boost and the other for adverse driving conditions and of course you are surrounded by a rich luxurious leather interior. From what I understand the 6e can currently travel 190 miles on a single charge. Unfortunately since it’s still in the concept process Bentley has not provided a final list price. Generally, you will not pick up a Bentley for less than $180,000, so I expect prices to start in that neighborhood when the 6e is actually released. Industry analyst believe they will most likely release the 6e in Chinese and European cities first, saying those countries are a bit more concerned about air pollution and appear more receptive to the technology. Bottom-line, Bentley believes they need to have options for their current customers should environmental demands dictate. The “electric vehicle” is clearly going to start taking more market share. (Source: Bloomberg, The Verge)
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