Bentley’s first EV will arrive in 2026
UK brand’s first electric car is set to offer hands-free, eyes-off ‘full autonomous’ driving later
Bentley’s first electric car, due on sale in 2026, will be available with hands-free driving capability, brand CEO Adrian Hallmark has said.
The new EV – which will be unveiled in 2025 – will be built on the new PPE (Performance Platform Electric) architecture developed alongside Audi and Porsche and use the Volkswagen Group’s software 1.2, which enables hands-free driving.
Hallmark confirmed Bentley will use Mobileye’s SuperVision technology, recently confirmed for the Porsche e-Macan on the same platform, which uses 11 cameras, Mobileye’s EyeQ5 chip and crowd-sourced high-definition maps to allow hands-off, eyes-on level-two-plus autonomy.
The Bentley EV will initially offer ‘partial’ hands-off driving on motorways and automated parking, with ‘full autonomous’ coming later, Hallmark told Autocar.
Mobileye has said SuperVision allows for level-three, hands-free, eyes-off autonomy on motorways.
The slow development of the 1.2 software within the Volkswagen Group has led to the delay of the Bentley EV, as well as the Porsche e-Macan and Audi Q6 E-tron on the same platform.
The final approval of the 1.2 software, aimed at premium cars within the Volkswagen Group, is now being led by ex-Bentley manufacturing head Peter Bosch, who was appointed head of the Cariad software unit in May following a shake-up in the troubled division.
The PPE electric architecture will allow power of up to 939bhp, Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume told investors earlier this week, giving a hint at the likely output of the Bentley.
Hallmark has previously said the EV will be “an incremental product” to the current line-up. “We intend to create not just an EV but to shape a segment too,” he told Autocar last year.