New SUV

New Bentley Bentayga Hybrid gets 443 bhp, 31 miles of all-electric range

The 2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is a plug-in electric vehicle that utilizes a battery, electric motor, and V6 engine.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The weighty yet wonderful luxurious Bentley Bentayga is inching its way toward better fuel economy. For the 2021 model year, the Bentayga received a design refresh and its plug-in hybrid electric version has finally been unveiled with a bigger battery and fresh looks. This is the first revised PHEV to roll out of the Bentley stable since the company announced that all its vehicles will be electrified by 2026.

Powering the 2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is a twin turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that is paired with a 94 kilowatt electric motor to create 443 brake horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. That's 100 brake horsepower less than the Bentayga V8, but Bentayga Hybrid buyers aren't primarily looking for performance. According to the automaker, nearly all first-generation Bentayga Hybrid owners use the vehicle in its all-electric EV mode.

2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The new 17.3 kilowatt-hour battery pack in the Bentayga Hybrid is a significant upgrade and allows for 31 miles of all-electric range, with half consistently journeying below that amount. Owners can charge their battery at a rate of 7.2 kilowatt-hours and gain a full fill up in 2.5 hours. The car's charge port is located on the left side of the vehicle, opposite the fuel flap.

Bentley expected the battery to last 100,000 miles or eight years. The SUV offers a total combined range of 536 miles.

Drivers can use all-electric power up to 84 mph before the V6 activates. The engine also comes to life when EV power is depleted or the SUV's acceleration demands a more forceful power output. Three drive modes serve to regulate power distribution - EV Drive, Hybrid Mode, and Hold Mode. EV Drive mode is engaged as soon as the car is switched on allowing the vehicle to operate on all-electric power as its default mode. Hybrid Mode maximizes vehicle efficiency and range using data from the intelligent navigation system. Hold Mode balances engine and electric power to hold high voltage battery charge for later use.

Bentley delivers each Bentayga Hybrid with market specific charging cables. Buyers can also choose a Bentley branded charging wallbox as a no-cost option. Buyers are responsible for paying for installation themselves.

The MyBentley app offers traditional information as well as Bentayga Hybrid-specific functionality including:

  • My Car Statistics - You can view the time and date of recent trips as well as last trip distance, average speed, travel time and average fuel/electric consumption.
  • My Battery Charge - Allows drivers to remotely initiate vehicle charging as long as your vehicle is plugged in. You can select the time you plan to leave and the charging system will calculate a rate of charging to achieve the highest level of charge in line with your departure.
  • My Cabin Comfort - Lets you remotely heat or cool the cabin to an optimum temperature ahead of your journey.
  • E-Charging - Identifies the nearest charging point locations in the area or at a destination of your choice, allowing you to navigate to the most convenient location. You can filter the results by distance, bay availability and charging rate.

The car retains the Bentayga family's styling upgrades including a 10.9-inch infotainment screen at the center of the dashboard with edge-to-edge graphics, navigation with satellite maps, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Rear seat entertainment has also gotten a boost with better screens.

New interior and exterior paint and color schemes are available, as well as personalized options through Bentley Mulliner.

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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