In spite of being part of the Volkswagen Group, Bentley has opted to not go the diesel route in its efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Instead, the Continental Supersports becomes the most powerful Bentley ever through the use of E85 as a fuel. Bentley has added flex fuel capability to the twin turbocharged 6.0L W12 to increase the output from the 600 hp of the current Continental GT Speed to 621 hp. Torque output is increased from 553 lb-ft to 590 lb-ft.
Also contributing to the improved acceleration 0-60 acceleration of 3.7 seconds is a 242 lb reduction in weight. In fact, the Supersports project began primarily as an investigation into reducing the mass of the nearly 5,200 lb Continental coupe. If this car is actually run on E85, the net well-to-wheel emissions of CO2 will certainly be reduced compared to running it on gasoline, but this car is by no means green. If Bentley is really serious about reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the company would be pursuing more aggressive changes than simply going flex-fuel. Within the group, there is work happening on electrification and hybridization, technologies that could be applied to a car like the Continental.
The Continental Supersports goes on sale this fall with most countries getting flex-fuel capability at launch. American examples get the E85 capability in 2010.