British Bentley plugs into Thailand’s luxury car market with record sales
British elite motor vehicle maker Bentley plugged into Thailand’s luxury car market last year and recorded record sales. Most orders (81) placed in the Land of Smiles were for hybrid vehicles.
The Flying Spur Hybrid was the most sought-after model, making up 49% of orders in Thailand with 40 cars sold. The Bentayga Hybrid followed closely behind with 35 orders and a 43% share.
The Flying Spur Hybrid had been available for order since early 2022 but officially debuted last month at the Thailand International Motor Expo.
Bentley Bangkok reported that hybrids are becoming increasingly popular among Thai buyers for their combination of luxury and electric capabilities and lower tax rates, leading to more affordable retail prices.
The 2023 Flying Spur Hybrid comes in three versions: S (priced at 16 million baht), Azure (priced at 16.6 million baht), and Mulliner (priced at 19 million baht). It is distinguishable from the non-hybrid version by a Hybrid front wing badge, quad oval tailpipes, and a charging flap on the left-hand rear wing.
The hybrid powertrain combines a 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine and a 100 kW electric motor to deliver a combined 536 bhp (95 bhp more than the Bentayga Hybrid) and 750 Nm. The Flying Spur Hybrid has a body length of 5,316 mm and a wheelbase of 3,194 mm, providing ample cabin space.
The new 2.9-litre V6 engine in the Flying Spur Hybrid produces 410 bhp and 550 Nm of torque, with a peak torque of 5,650 rpm. It shares a similar design as the 4.0-litre V8 engine, with twin turbochargers and primary catalytic converters located within the V of the engine. Centralized fuel injectors and spark plugs optimize spray patterns and combustion paths, and the camshafts are adjustable up to 50 degrees. The engine delivers over 150 bhp per litre, surpassing even the Flying Spur V8.
The electronic motor in the Flying Spur Hybrid is located between the transmission and engine, providing up to 134 bhp and 400 Nm of torque. The permanent magnet synchronous motor provides instant torque for smooth acceleration from a standstill and minimizes any perceived delay from turbo lag.
The hybrid powertrain makes it the most efficient Bentley currently available, with a range of 800km when fully fueled. The 18 kWh lithium-ion battery can be fully charged in two and a half hours and offers a WLTP electric range of 41 km.
The power electronics convert the energy stored in the high-voltage battery to supply the e-motor or supplement the vehicle’s 12V electrical infrastructure. In terms of performance, the hybrid is nearly as quick as the V8 variant, accelerating from 0 to 100 kph in 4.3 seconds, with a top speed of 285 kph. In electric mode, the maximum speed is limited to 140 kph, suitable for highway driving.
Inside the car, the automatic start/stop switch has been replaced with a control for the three E-Mode settings: EV Drive, Hybrid Mode and Hold Mode. This allows the driver to manage battery usage during a journey. EV Drive mode is engaged as soon as the car is switched on and maximizes the electric driving experience. Additional information about the range, battery level, and charging status is available via the instrument panel, heads-up display, and centre screen.
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
Engine: 2.9-litre V6 TFSi ICE; 103kW electric motor
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Power (combined): 536bhp
Torque (combined): 750Nm
Battery capacity: 18kWh
Maximum speed (combined): 285kph
Maximum speed (electric only): 140kph
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