Green has long been a color associated with Bentley going back to their Le Mans victories in the 1920s. In those days - before race cars became rolling billboards - they were painted in colors specific to their countries of origin, with British cars running in green. These days however, going green means something very different. With limits on carbon dioxide emissions looming in Europe and new fuel economy standards in the U.S., Bentley CEO Franz-Josef Paefgen made a major announcement at the Geneva Motor Show today.

In 2009 Bentley will introduce its first flex-fuel engine and by 2012 everything they produce will be capable of running on biofuels. The ultra-luxury British brand (owned by Volkswagen) intends to achieve at least a fifteen percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2012. By 2012 they will also introduce a new powertrain that will deliver a forty percent reduction in fuel consumption. That will most likely be a hybrid system that's been rumored for some time, perhaps even a diesel hybrid. Paefgen also said that Bentley will be making a major push to reduce the weight of their cars which have always been rather portly. The bottom line is that Bentley wants to have all their vehicles capable of emitting less than 120g/km of CO2 on a well-to-wheels basis by 2012 (assuming of course that they are running on biofuels).

[Source: Bentley]

BENTLEY OUTLINES ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY

On a well-to-wheel* basis, the entire Bentley model range will be capable of delivering less than 120 g/km of CO2 by 2012

Three-Stage Environmental Strategy Based On:

  • Improved efficiency: Average fleet emissions to fall by at least 15% by 2012
  • New powertrain in development to deliver 40% improvement in fuel economy
  • Renewable fuel
  • - Flex-fuel engines to be introduced throughout the Bentley range by 2012
  • - First engines using renewable fuels to be available by next year


Lower emissions and improved economy will be delivered while maintaining vehicle performance.


Geneva/Crewe, 4 March 2008

Bentley Motors today unveiled a far-reaching environmental strategy to reduce CO2 emissions and dramatically improve fuel economy.

Bentley will become the first manufacturer in its segment and one of the first in the world to deliver renewable-fuel vehicles throughout its range, along with substantial powertrain improvements. The strategy follows years of engineering studies and intensive product development, exploring alternative environmental technologies in depth. The renewable fuel programme reflects Bentley's commitment to the environment while maintaining vehicle performance.

Franz-Josef Paefgen, Bentley Chief Executive, said: "This is a major step in the history of Bentley, reflecting the increasing expectation from our customers around the world for performance motoring with fuel efficient engines. We will set a benchmark in our segment of the industry by making every engine capable of running on renewable fuels, reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency throughout our fleet."

Dr. Paefgen said the initiative will help Bentley as a corporation to address the two-fold global issue of CO2 emissions and longer-term fuel availability, as part of its corporate social responsibility.

"Bentley does not believe that short-term measures are an appropriate answer to these global issues, and is basing its strategy on a long-term vision," he added.

Efficiency improvements will be achieved first through the application of innovative technology to its 8 and 12 cylinder engines, including enhanced engine management, and new, improved transmissions and drivelines, as well as through weight reduction. As part of its commitment to reduce CO2 output on every new model, these efforts will lead to at least a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2012.

Secondly, a new powertrain will be introduced by 2012, delivering a 40% reduction in fuel consumption, while maintaining current levels of performance.

Thirdly, all engines across the entire range will become compatible with the use of renewable fuels by 2012, with the initial rollout beginning by next year.
"It is our conviction that renewable fuels, in particular second-generation biofuels, have strong potential," said Dr.Paefgen. "On a well-to-wheel basis, such fuels can deliver a consistently high net CO2 reduction of up to 90%.

The benefits of second-generation biofuels are significant:

· They deliver a massive reduction in total CO2 emissions
· They do not compete with food requirements as a raw material base
· The use of biomass waste for fuel requires minimal additional land use
· They deliver much higher yields than first generation crop-based fuels


"By preparing our engines at an early stage for these fuels, we believe we will help accelerate their adoption, as the supply and market for them develop. Taken together, the measures we are announcing will make the entire Bentley fleet capable of delivering less that 120 g/km by 2012," Dr. Paefgen added.




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