Bentley asks European Commission to increase weight limit on EU driver’s licenses

Modern luxury cars get bigger and heavier with each generation, thanks to the addition of new features, heavy-duty electrified powertrains, and enormous size. The new Bentley Bentayga Extended Wheelbase is the perfect example, with a weight of 2,514 kg (5,542 lb) and a gross vehicle mass of 3,250 kg (7,165 lb).

The figures are getting dangerously close to the weight limit for an EU driver’s license, and the British carmaker is taking steps to ensure its European customers aren’t banned from driving new Bentleys.

During a preview event for the recently released Bentayga EWB, a representative of the company acknowledged car sales Volkswagen Group is using its lobbying tools at the European Commission to negotiate higher weight limits for drivers across the continent. The Crewe-based manufacturer is currently VAG’s heaviest brand, with an average weight of 2,308 kg (5,088 lb) across its four model series, according to the Australian publication.

“The rules about licenses…have to make major changes to licenses,” Bentayga product line director Chris Cole told the outlet. “Currently, with current technology, the gross vehicle weight will be capped across Europe. This is an active dialogue with the certification bodies as the situation changes.”

Bentley’s stance appears to be quite different from what BMW is currently expressing. Through the voice of Christoph Fagschlunger, project manager of the new BMW 7 Series family, the Bavarian company announced that the new car will not get any heavier. According to Fagschlunger, the two heaviest cars currently available from the brand are the i7 (2,640 kg/5,820 lbs) and the facelifted X7 (2,480 kg/5,467 lbs), although this may be the upper limit of vehicle weight.

But will luxury EVs strictly adhere to the European 3.5-ton rule? Bentley is skeptical, since electrification basically means more weight. “The law encourages companies to reduce fuel economy as much as possible, but does it matter as much when the vehicle is electric,” Cole asked rhetorically. With Bentley’s upcoming range of electric cars due in 2025, we expect the brand’s current weight figures to be higher and closer to European limits.

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