After decades of being able to build their own V8 and twelve-cylinder engines undisturbed, the British automotive aristocracy is now forced to electrify its own brand model ranges.
For luxury brands like Rolls Royce and Bentley, quieter and more powerful electronic drives should be a plus. That’s why the two brands want to say goodbye to the combustion engine by 2030.
For sports car manufacturers Aston Martin and McLaren, however, the Stromer, which some fans of the brand see as insensitive, could be dangerous. That’s why they want to keep the back door open with plug-in hybrid drives.
When it comes to the engines of their models, luxury car manufacturers have been able to indulge in mass for decades without bothering. Eight cylinders were the minimum, cars fired with only six pots were almost considered inefficient in this price range.
For the past decade, however, luxury brands from the big island have had to comply with increasingly stringent emissions standards and tighten their belts on the engine side. Given the impending end of combustion engines and the rapid acceptance of electronic mobility, reducing numbers is no longer enough. Therefore, in the long run, all signs point to electricity in the first class of the automotive industry.
The electric drive suits the character of Rolls Royce
Rolls Royce should find this change relatively easy. Consumers have always appreciated the smooth handling and effortless power delivery of high-capacity combustion engines. The almost silent electric drive, with its abundant and directly available torque, should perfectly match the typical Rolls Royce character and raise the comfort of British gliders to a high level.
So the BMW subsidiary has decided to skip plug-in hybrid technology and go straight to a fully electric drive. Coupé Specter should debut in late 2023. This shares much of the technology with the BMW Stromers i7 and iX and is currently already clocking up a lot of mileage. When the market is launched, it should be 2.5 million.
Thanks to the expected battery of more than 100 kWh, it should have a range of around 500 km despite the weight of around three tons. An electric SUV to complement the Cullinan will also follow mid-decade. By 2030, the British would like to have converted their entire model range to purely electric cars. For a long time, the successors of Phantom, Ghost & Co. they will also have electric engines instead of the usual twelve cylinders.
Bentley also wants to be purely electric by 2030
Rolls Royce’s main competitor Bentley has set a similar deadline when it comes to electrification. At the beginning of the next decade, only electric cars will leave the factory in Crewe, England. To achieve this goal, the brand wants to invest three billion euros in its headquarters. In 2025, the first electric Bentley will come to market. It is not yet known what kind of car you can prepare exactly. From then on, a new electric model will be added to the range every year.
By 2026, the luxury brand wants to have its entire range electric. Each series of the VW subsidiary should be presented with at least one plug-in hybrid drive. Regarding the technology, the manufacturer has already announced important basic information. Bentley will use the PPE platform for some of its electric cars, which the main brand Audi is currently working with Porsche.
Aston Martin may lose its identity
Unlike the usual leisure-loving customers of Rolls Royce, Aston Martin fans are also accustomed to the brand because of the emotional tone of the local athletes. Above all, the twelve-cylinder engines, which are currently installed on the Vantage V12, DB11 and DBS, deceive with their emotional sound.
But the sports car maker, which enjoys quite a cult status thanks to the James Bond films, is also moving with the times and would like to be more sustainable overall. In 2030, production should be climate neutral and nine years later, complete climate neutrality should be achieved in the entire supply chain. At least if everything goes according to plan.
To achieve these goals, clean electric vehicles will undoubtedly also be important. The British were initially reluctant to adopt the car type. However, the current brand boss Tobias Moers, who left Mercedes-AMG in 2020, seems to be a friend of electric cars, under his leadership the sports car manufacturer wants to bring its first Stromer to the market in 2025. It is likely to be successor to the current DB11.
By 2026, every line of a traditional manufacturer should be electrified, so there must be at least one hybrid car under the bodywork. In 2024, Aston Martin plans to introduce its first plug-in hybrid, which will be the production Hypercars Valhalla. Along with it and other electric models, the British use the skills and, in part, the equipment of the technology lover Mercedes Benz.
Unlike Rolls Royce and Bentley, Aston Martin does not want to commit to a phase-out date from combustion technology, despite all the enthusiasm for electric cars. In an interview with the Financial Times, CEO Lawrence Stroll emphasized that customers still want the smell and sound of gasoline engines. That’s why the company is sticking with the combustion engine for now. Only with an electric motor.
At this time, McLaren is only focusing on plug-in hybrids
McLaren doesn’t want to know anything about pure electric sports cars yet. At least the manufacturer of hard sports cars has not yet communicated any plans in this direction. In the medium term, plug-in hybrids in particular, such as the Artura presented last year, should contribute to reducing the brand’s CO2 emissions.