Fairly green and very fast
Bentley unveils a powerful beast, writesMARKHINCHLIFFE
AMEAN and green performance flagship will be unveiled by Bentley in the first week of March. Well, it’s semi-green. The new high-performance coupe will debut on the opening day of the Geneva Motor Show — when Rolls-Royce is also expected to preview is new ‘‘compact’’ RR4 — as the British brand takes a stand on cutting the emissions and thirst of its ultra-luxury cars.
Its current benchmark engine is a bi-turbo V12 that guzzles 25 litres of fuel for every 100km it travels, more than four times the thirst of a typical compact city car.
Like GM Holden, Bentley Motors is putting the emphasis on ethanol for its newcomer, which is now known as the ‘‘Extreme Bentley’’ but could hit the road as the Victoria.
It will run on ethanol and is being called a biofuel car, like the growing number of US and Australian models which can run on either traditional unleaded or E85 ethanol fuel.
Despite the green twist, Bentley claims the car will be the ‘‘fastest, most powerful production car ever’’ from the company with ‘‘supercar performance’’.
A brief internet video preview of the vehicle shows a coupe shape, so it is likely to be based on the Continental GT and with a 12-cylinder engine, possibly boosted.
The tacho is shown with a 6500-rev limit, ruling out any sort of diesel engine.
Since ethanol is not as economical as unleaded petrol, Bentley’s reputation for high fuel consumption will remain and the car’s green credentials will rely on its use of ethanol created from renewable energy sources.
The supercar is the first sign of Bentley’s commitment to an environmental strategy, announced at last year’s Geneva show.
‘‘It will have a flexfuel drivetrain with the ability to run on anything from 100 per cent petrol to 100 per cent ethanol with no interruption of performance,’’ Bentley regional manager Ed Striebig says.
‘‘What sets it aside from the others (environmental cars) is it is the fastest we have built. It is something we’re quite proud of.’’
(left) the ‘‘Extreme Bentley’’ is likely to have a coupe shape, (below) Bentley’s existing bi-turbo V12 engine.