A sporty, ultra-luxurious large SUV, the 2023 Bentley Bentayga is impressive as-is. Smooth engines, capable handling, and interior styling worthy of its hextuple price tag. If we may offer one small complaint—we felt the version with the available V-6 hybrid powertrain was a bit “grainy.” The engine was, that is. Could more power help? Sure! We’re about to find out for sure, as Bentley is expanding its hybrid availability to the sportier Bentayga S and fancier Azure models, upgrading its hybrid system’s power output to match those Bentaygas’ missions.
In other words, if you’re worried about those Bentayga models becoming slouches post-hybridization, don’t. The Bentayga S Hybrid will pin you back with 456 hp combined between its V-6 and electric motor. The electric hybrid setup is similar in principle to the standard plug-in hybrid Bentayga’s, but with a different battery capacity and (more) power. The battery has 18 kWh of capacity (up from 17.3), which delivers 27 miles of electric-only driving (same as non-S and non-Azure hybrids), likely due to the extra power the motor produces. The S and Azure both use a motor with 134 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, up from the standard Bentayga Hybrid’s 126 hp and 258 lb-ft. This ladles an extra 13 hp onto the S and Azure models’ total, for the aforementioned 456 ponies, good enough for the Bentayga S Hybrid to reach 62 mph in just 5.3 seconds and top out at 158 mph.
The Bentayga S Hybrid
The Bentayga S Hybrid is intended to match the regular, V-8-powered Bentayga S’s performance while making less noise and using less fuel. Put it in Sport mode, and the six-cylinder engine comes alive with sound enhancements for a greater impression of speed and the chassis sets itself up for greater nimbleness with 15-percent-stiffer damping.
To match the S Hybrid’s look to its capabilities, you can get Bentley’s Blackline specification, which replaces all of the polished metal trim with black pieces save for the iconic winged Bentley logo. It also uses a set of 22-inch wheels with scythe-like spokes that are available in silver, black, or black with polished metal surfaces—a great contrast to the red-painted calipers that come on the S. A tailgate spoiler inspired by the piece on the Bentayga Speed, dark tinted taillights, and black split-oval tailpipes make the S a good looking high-performance Hybrid SUV.
Inside, you get some hints of its performance background thanks to its use of tactile finish of the Dinamica and use of leather surfaces in colors that give you a performance feeling, but it’s the gauges that give away its sporting nature. They come straight from the Bentayga Speed but with the addition of a PHEV power meter inside the tachometer. Fluted seating, “S” emblems on the fascia and headrests, and illuminated sills all further deviate the S Hybrid from all other Bentayga Hybrids including its sister, the Azure.
The Bentayga Azure Hybrid
While you still get that powerful new hybrid system, the Bentayga Azure Hybrid, like regular Azures, is all about the wellbeing and comfort of its occupants. In fact, as the luxury focused of the two Bentaygas, the hybrid’s promised quieter operation is perfect for this role. It’s especially so when you consider that the interior is designed to be as quiet as possible with the goal to reduce all exterior road and traffic noise below the 70-decibel level. According to Bentley, research shows that traffic noises above that made drivers 65 percent more at risk of suffering from depression—really. Hence why the Azure Hybrid is between four and 26 percent quieter than its competitors—depending on where a person sits inside it. Even the vibrations within the Azure Hybrid are reduced by up to 27 percent in the 5-20 Hz range.
Further technologies promoting wellbeing in the Azure non-hybrid are also used in the Azure Hybrid. The 22-way adjustable, heated, and ventilated front seats use Bentley’s Front Seat Comfort Specification to create the optimum temperature and position for comfort and alertness. Calming the driver’s mind are driver assist technologies like Bentley’s Adaptive Cruise Control from the Touring Specification. This allows the driver to remove the stress of stop-and-go traffic while Lane Assist, Traffic Assist, and Bentley Safeguard help keep the driver alert and informed while driving.
Inside the Azure Hybrid, the Bentley team also concentrated on the color, feel, and textures of the interior to maintain its wellness and comfort goals. The use of diamond quilted upholstery gives the visual and tactile pleasure the mind of Bentley’s customers are looking for. Veneers in Dark Walnut, Crown-Cut Walnut, and Koa create a calmer look of soft satin over the high-gloss veneers other Bentayga models use. Azure Hybrid owners can also use a choice of 15 leather color options and color splits with contrasting stitching and seat piping as standard. The “Azure” emblem is used on the fascia, illuminated sills, and on the seat embroidery while Bentley “B” pedals, mood lighting, and a heated, two-tone steering wheel complete the Azure Hybrid’s interior of wellness. Outside the Bentayga Azure Hybrid, however, is another story. Rather than using polished metal or Blackline trim, the exterior of the Azure Hybrid uses bright chrome on the lower bumper grilles, “Azure” badges, and on the 22-inch 10-spoke wheels. A final touch is the Bentley “jewel” fuel filler cap that the Crewe-brand says is “both elegant and timeless.”
Bentley’s Future is Electric
With the new Bentayga S and Azure Hybrids, Bentley now has seven of 14 models with some sort of electrification added in. Now more 50 percent of Bentley’s lineup offers hybrid power, a key goal as the brand continues toward its 2025 goal of 100 percent electrification with hybrids and a future fully-electric vehicle. Currently, the new 2023 Bentley Bentayga S Hybrid and Bentayga Azure Hybrid don’t have an exact price or release date, but we expect those to come very soon.
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