BENTLEY has unveiled a range-topper at the Geneva Motor Show – and it’s the maker’s first green FlexFuel model.
The Continental Supersports is Bentley’s most powerful production car ever, boasting 630PS. This helps it to 60mph in just 3.7 seconds.
Yet, because the 204mph car can run on both petrol and biofuel, it is also ecologically sustainable.
It can use the same E85 Bioethanol as eco Saab Biofuel models. And is the precursor to Bentley’s entire range becoming renewable-fuel compliant by 2012.
110kg lighter than standard Continental GT Speeds, the Supersports arrives this autumn, whose development has been pushed through by a tiny ‘under the radar’ team at Bentley.
Development didn’t just centre on the engine, either. The ‘Quickshift’ gearbox shifts gears twice as fast (and can offer double-downshifts!), while there is retuned steering, lightweight suspension components and special carbon ceramic disc brakes – the largest ever fitted to a production car.
The Supersports’ four-wheel-drive running gear has also been given a 40:60 rearward bias, for sportier handling.
The Supersports can be spotted by its bonnet vents and vertical air intake apertures. These are necessary to supply more cooling to the power-tuned engine – it has a 10 per cent greater cooling thirst. The rear track is also wider, and thus concealed by flared rear wings. There is also a tidy boot spoiler.
All exterior chrome has also been given a special dark-smoke finish.
Surprisingly, it’s a two-seater inside. The front seats are made from carbon fibre, and are lighter in weight than standard pews. Carbonfibre also replaces the familiar Bentley wood.
How is the 17mpg Supersports billed as a ‘green’ Bentley, though? Well, the company says that, when running on E85 biofuel, CO2 emissions are reduced by up to 70 per cent on a so-called ‘well-to-wheel’ basis.
This measures a fuel’s net CO2 contribution to the atmosphere, not just its tailpipe emissions. Bentley says the CO2 absorbed in growing the fuel offsets that released when it’s combusted.
Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Bentley’s chairman and chief executive said: ‘This is the fastest, most extreme Bentley ever, dramatically styled to underline its supercar character. Importantly, it also pioneers the use of FlexFuel technology in the luxury sector.’