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Bentley's first plug-in hybrid is an ultra-luxurious SUV

Just don't expect to save the planet by driving one.
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Engadget/Steve Dent

Bentley has been promising a hybrid version of its Bentayga SUV for over 3 years, and it's finally here... although you might not want to pat yourself on the back if you buy one. The simply-titled Bentayga Hybrid delivers the same ultra-luxurious design of the regular model, but replaces the usual powerplant with a 3.0L V6 and an electric motor. However, that motor will only get you about 31 miles of pure electric driving -- fine if you're a footballer driving to the local nightclub, but not very useful for visiting family. It's meant more to offset the lousy fuel economy from the V6, which musters just 12MPG in the city and 19MPG on the highway.

Gallery: Bentley Bentayga hybrid SUV gallery | 8 Photos

You do get some perks that you won't find in many other PHEV models. For one, famed designer Philippe Starck crafted the charging station -- you may not mind that it takes 2.5 hours to top up, but at least you'll have something pretty to look at while you wait. Also, Bentley uses the GPS positioning to calculate the best times to use the electric motor when in hybrid mode, so you should only run out of electricity right when you're arriving at your destination.

The in-cabin tech might offer more than you're used to, as well. The 8-inch touchscreen in the center stack is complemented by a 10.2-inch removable Android tablet that offers LTE and WiFi data for those in the back.

Bentley hasn't outlined pricing, although orders won't start until the second half of 2018. As it is, you can safely say that the automaker is targeting a fairly narrow audience. You have to be wealthy enough to buy a luxurious SUV and eco-friendly enough to buy a hybrid, but not so eco-friendly that you're ready to buy a fully electric option like the Tesla Model X.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

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