Bentley’s biofuel Continental at Geneva 2009

Published: 28 January 2009

Can Bentleys ever be green? Bentley today released this single photo of a biofuel-powered new model that is designed to convince us that Crewe’s cars can survive in these carbon-crunched times.

Very few details have been released – not even a name for this shadow-shrouded first image – but the car appears to be based on the Continental family, judging by that familiar snout.

Keen to hammer home the message that clean needn’t mean dull, Bentley’s 2009 launch will be the company’s fastest and most powerful production car ever. No stats are available yet, but that suggests the (E85 equipped?) Conti will be capable of more than 200mph. Not that tree-hugging artistocrats will want to burn biofuel at such a rate.

The Bentley statement in full

Today’s announcement is so short, we may as well repeat it in full:

‘On 3 March at the 2009 International Geneva Motor Show, Bentley will reveal its fastest, most powerful production car ever. Delivering supercar performance, this new model is very much the extreme Bentley. Importantly it will run on biofuel, delivering stage one of Bentley's environmental commitment and pioneering the use of this fuel in the luxury sector.’

The background to this news? Bentley announced at the 2008 Geneva show that it would commit to a 40% CO2 reduction by 2012. Renewable biofuels and downsized engines will play a role in cleaning up Bentley’s range, but the company is also considering tapping into parent firm VW’s expertise in diesel powertrains as well as nascent hybrid technology.

>> CAR will report live from the Geneva motor show on 3 March 2009. Come back every day before then for our full previews, news, photos and coverage live from Switzerland


By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet