British luxury carmaker Bentley looks all set to replace the V8 residing under the hood of its Mulsanne luxury car with electric motors as it looks to combat stricter emission norms.
Bentley, which is part of the Volkswagen group, currently uses a 6.75-litre V8 engine that has been around since the 1960s.
Speaking to Autocar UK, Mulsanne Product and Marketing Manager Hans revealed that one of the reasons for the switch to electric drive was the upcoming emissions norms in China, a market that is extremely important for luxury carmaker.
Holzgartner said, "At the moment, the indication is that full electric will be the only way that you'll get into some of the cities in China."
"I wouldn't say we're discounting [hybrid engines] completely, but it looks like if you don't have a full electric drive, even some of the hybrid drives just won't get into some cities in China."
The Bentley Six and three-quarter litre engine in its current twin-turbocharged guise produces 505bhp and 1,020Nm of torque in the Mulsanne and 530bhp and 1,100Nm of torque in the Mulsanne Speed.The engine is handbuilt at Bentley's factory in Crewe, England and each of the old-school engines take 30 hours to be built by hand.
Mulsanne Marketing Manager Holzgartner also stated that an all-electric powertrain would suit the characteristics of the Mulsanne. He said, "Yes, absolutely. I think electric is much better suited to bigger, heavier, smoother saloon cars than sports cars."
"With a Mulsanne-sized car, it's all about torque anyway," he added. "The delivery characteristics of electric drive - loads of bottom-end torque, almost silent delivery, very smooth - they all fit.