Bentley collaborates with designer Philippe Starck on a recharging unit concept for the Bentayga Hybrid
As EVs enter the mainstream, accessories and ancillary services like charging infrastructure and home batteries offer new opportunities for automakers to make some add-on sales. For luxury carmakers, the gains can be even greater.
Most recently, Bentley announced a collaboration with French designer Philippe Starck, who was commissioned to create “a unique and intelligent recharging unit concept” to accompany the new Bentayga Hybrid.
The Bentley by Starck Power Dock is more statement piece than functional charger. Bentley describes a surround “formed from pressed eco-linen with bio-sourced thermosetting resin, while the domed frontage is fashioned using a hot-pressure aluminium casting.”
“As always with my designs I wanted the maximum of intelligence with the minimum of materiality. I wanted it to be a modern art piece: durable, real and avant-garde high tech. It was also important for me that the unit was as sustainable as possible,” Starck explained.
Basically though, it’s a very plush method of keeping your charging cables neat (and safe).
Although Bentley is synonymous with the luxury passenger car, it hasn’t been the fastest at adopting electrification. The Bentayga Hybrid is the first electrified model in the automaker’s range, and obviously does have plug-in capability, but with a mere 31 miles of NEDC electric range in its battery, it wont be winning any awards for endurance. Charging from Starck’s elegant dock will refill the pack in about 2.5 hours.
Bentley is similarly quiet on the implications of a hybrid powertrain in terms of horsepower, torque and performance.
Although not available for order just yet, the Bentayga is slated for release in “selected markets” later this year.
It’s sure to suit the carbon (and emissions-tax conscious) urban driver (and perhaps their chauffeur), but the brand’s main hope for EV power lies in its EXP 12 Speed 6e concept, unveiled in Geneva last year, and slated for possible production in 2019.