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Bentley's first EV is terrifyingly fast — 0 to 60 in 1.5 seconds

bentley exp 100 gt concept
The Bentley EXP 100 GT concept (Image credit: Bentley)

We already knew that Bentley is entering the electric car business, promising that an all-electric SUV would launch sometime in 2025. Now the company has revealed some of the first details about the car, and it sounds absolutely terrifying — but in a good way.

During an interview with Automotive News Europe (opens in new tab), Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark confirmed just how powerful the automaker's first EV will be. We’re looking at 1,400 horsepower (1,044 kW) with a 0-60 time of just 1.5 seconds.

To put that into perspective, the Tesla Model S Plaid has a 0-60 time of 1.99 seconds — and Tesla claimed it was the fastest accelerating car in production when it was announced. Meanwhile, the Rimac Nevera, an electric hypercar with 1,914 horsepower, 258 mph top speed and a $2.44 million price tag, goes from 0-60 in 1.85 seconds.

So the Bentley EV is set to be astonishingly quick, though Hallmark claims that isn’t really what the focus will be on. Instead, the selling point will be the car’s "effortless overtaking performance from a huge amount of torque on demand." 

"Most people enjoy the 30-70 mph acceleration, or in Germany the 30-150 mph acceleration," the CEO said. He believes that the high 0-60 speeds make the driver uncomfortable and nauseous, and for this reason the Bentley will offer a slower acceleration setting, which will increase the 0-60 time to around 2.7 seconds.

That may not be record-breaking acceleration, but it’s still pretty darn quick. Especially if this car is still set to be an SUV — as Hallmark promised was coming this time last year.

However, acceleration like that doesn’t really mix well with the bulk of an SUV. So it’s likely that this car will be a more aerodynamically styled sedan or gran tourer. Both cars are more associated with luxury, Bentley’s hallmark feature, than SUVs.

Though that doesn’t mean an electric Bentley SUV isn’t also in the cards. Hallmark told CAR magazine (opens in new tab) that “if you’re not in SUVs, you’re nowhere," and it’s not likely that Bentley will have scrapped those plans so easily. Especially given the number of increasingly luxurious and high-specced electric SUVs on the market.

We don’t know much else about Bentley’s first EV, other than the fact Hallmark claims the company will not be falling into the same design traps as other automakers. "What we will not do is try and make [our vehicles] look like electric cars, and will instead be an updated version of the existing Bentley aesthetic." 

Bentley isn’t alone on that front either. While some electric cars come with design cues that seem to scream “look at me, I’m an EV”, plenty more do not. 

The only clues we have as to what the Bentley EV might look like is the EXP100 GT concept (opens in new tab). The concept was first revealed in 2019 as an exercise in seeing “how grand touring could look in 2035”. So if Bentley is going to borrow any inspiration, it’ll be from there.

Sadly, you’re not likely to be able to buy the Bentley EV without winning the lottery. Hallmark confirmed that at least one version of the car will cost more than €250,000 — or $262,447. Not even the upcoming Tesla Roadster is set to cost quite that much.

Tom Pritchard
Automotive Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.