It's famous for big, powerful and thirsty cars – but luxury maker Bentley is going eco-friendly by launching a new engine which will reduce CO2 emissions by an incredible 40 per cent. And it could be a hybrid.
Following on from the Continental Supersports – the first model from the firm that runs on E85 bioethanol – the new powertrain will arrive in 2011, most likely in the Continental’s replacement.
It would slash CO2 from the current 396g/km to less than 240g/km. And as the new Conti will get a light aluminium body, it could emit less than 225g/km – taking the model out of the top road tax bracket for the first time.
Details remain secret for now, but it’s likely to be a new type of hybrid, with an engine that can run on biofuel, petrol or a combination of the two – similar to the Supersports.
Even though E85 is still only available at a limited number of filling stations, Bentley will make all its models compatible with the fuel by 2012.
It claims it’s a viable solution to reducing emissions as it is eco-friendly to produce.
Bentley engineering boss Dr Ulrich Eichhorn told Auto Express that the Supersports already appeals to a growing group of eco-minded buyers who focus “not only on fuel economy but also on doing something green that’s different”.
For now, Bentley has ruled out hydrogen fuel cells, and while VW has a variety of powerful diesels, sales of oil-burners are still slow in North America (the brand’s biggest market) – so a Conti TDI isn’t likely any time soon.