An unlikely partnership on the surface between Bentley and The Macallan. But there’s more to it and the Flying Spur Hybrid than meets the eye.
No drink driving is permitted under any circumstance. One’s a prestigious marque in automobiles relied upon by dignitaries, another’s a single malt Scotch whisky distillery that breaks record after record at auctions. Together both British brands intend on carving a brighter future that puts our children and conscience at ease.
A major milestone in the journey towards electrification, as well as baby steps towards a sustainable future, Bentley veers towards the greener pasture by presenting the Flying Spur Hybrid. Building on the third-generation Flying Spur, the most environmentally friendly Bentley to date uses an innovative third powertrain as a concrete evidence of its commitment to its Beyond100 strategy – a pledge to become a complete carbon-neutral carmaker.
Compared to the Bentayga Hybrid, this vehicle is even more powerful. 95 bhp more to be precise, all thanks to a 2.9 litre V6 petrol engine mated with a state-of-the-art electric motor, punching out 536 bhp and 750 Nm. In the real world, the impressive numbers translate to 0-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph (285 km/h), while covering a distance of 700 km when fully fueled.
To enable such efficiency, the customary Start-Stop switch is replaced by a three-tier control spanning EV Drive, Hybrid and Hold modes, with EV Drive being the default option. Reservation on how fast the vehicle can be replenished should be assuaged by the fact that the lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in as little as 2.5 hours.
Enough of sales pitching by the numbers. What does that have to do with The Macallan?
For one the Flying Spur Hybrid is launched at The Macallan Estate. But it is a partnership that will go beyond the superficial. They both are on a path towards carbon neutral. Finding a brand partner sharing the same value bodes well for marketing and business strategy. It isn’t a tie-up between cars and alcohol but one based on heritage and experiential elements.
“Transforming Bentley into the world’s most sustainable luxury car company is an exciting journey, and I’m delighted to be working with The Macallan on one common goal – to both lead our fields as we work towards a more sustainable future,” Bentley chairman and chief executive Andrian Hallmark asserts. Both brands also leverage upon each other’s diverse customer base to broaden their appeal but still sharing the luxury, passion segment. The collaboration will see them jointly develop products (hint: whisky).
In The Macallan’s pursuit to be carbon neutral by 2030, the distillery will house a fleet of fully electric passenger vehicles by 2025. This year will see Bentley deliver two hybrid carriers to the whisky brand. What it means to you is that, chances are when you pay a visit to the famous distillery as VIP, you might be whisked around in one. Wouldn’t that be magnificent?
All images by Bentley