The Ruffian

Bentley’s New Biofuel Sports Coupe.

Posted in Uncategorized by The Ruffian on March 3, 2009

GENEVA — The most powerful Bentley ever is the new Continental Supersports coupe, which was officially revealed here at the Geneva auto show Tuesday. But this “blower Bentley” comes with a twist: It runs on biofuel.

The Supersports is capable of running on E85 ethanol, which actually raises the power output of the coupe’s turbocharged 12-cylinder from a “mere” 600 horsepower to 621.

Carbon-dioxide emissions are reduced by 70 percent, and fuel mileage increases to 13 miles per gallon in the city and 23.8 on the highway, the company says. Until now, Bentley has been saddled with some of the most dismal fuel-mileage figures in the industry — single digits, in some cases.

A derivative of the Continental GT, the Supersports is named for a 1925 Bentley that made, by comparison, 85 horsepower. But it was something of a rocket ship in its day. The modern version gets cosmetic, as well as functional, enhancements such as bigger intakes, wider rear fenders for a wider rear track, and a dark, smoked-steel interior.

Bentley claims the Continental Supersports can accelerate to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 204 miles per hour.

You may remember that at last year’s New York auto show, Bentley handed out its “Green Car Manifesto,” in which the company vowed to increase its model-wide fuel economy, reform its gas-guzzling ways and take a leading position in use of alternative fuels. The Supersports is the first step in that direction. However, its debut comes at a time when ethanol made from food crops is being second guessed as a true green resource.

The Supersports will roll out in Europe this fall; North American versions are scheduled for 2010. Pricing will be set closer to launch.

The new Continental Supersports is Bentley’s first flex-fuel performance car.

The new Continental Supersports is Bentley’s first flex-fuel performance car.


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