First EV Bentley to use Audi Artemis platform
Bentley CEO says brand much more involved than past co-designs
It’s no surprise that Bentley is planning EVs, the first of which is expected to go on sale in 2025. Now the automaker’s CEO is talking more about the company’s plans for the electric SUV, which will be arriving on the new Artemis architecture that is being developed by Audi.
The Artemis project at Audi was a task force launched last year inside the company, working as an outside team to develop a new vehicle that would be a flagship to be used by the Audi, Porsche, and Bentley brands. It’s expected to be a large seven-seater, built at VW’s Hanover facility, and previous reports have said a range of more than 650 km is possible.
“Looking forward to electrification, we’re going to have closer synergies with Audi,” CEO Adrian Hallmark told CAR. “But we will continue to have strong relationships with both brands [Audi and Porsche], and we see this as an opportunity, not a risk. No question – we are electrifying. And we need to find the best way to fast-track that, and to lead the technology charge.”
Will the first electric Bentley really be an SUV? “If you’re not in SUVs, you’re nowhere,” said Hallmark. We’ll call that a yes.
An EV is also changing the way Bentley does design, Hallmark said. The CEO said that “we tend to start with a design that’s unbuildable, then work out how to build it.” With an EV, the model is designed around the battery and the aerodynamic requirements. While it won’t throw away the brand’s “DNA”, it will change the brand’s styling.
How do Bentley buyers feel about an EV from the brand that claims its sold more 12-cylinder cars than any other ever? The CEO 39 percent of owners are considering a BEV for their next vehicle. Or at least for one of their next vehicles.