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Bentley Delays U.S. Intro of Much-Touted Flex-Fuel Continental Supersports

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Bentlley says initial Continental Supersports to hit U.S. shores won’t be able to use ethanol.

A quarter-million-dollar, 12-cylinder Bentley with 621 horsepower and top speed of 204 m.p.h. was always bound to be an unlikely champion for environmentally friendly driving. News that Bentley Motors will delay the much-touted flex-fuel compatibility for its new U.S.-bound Continental Supersports isn’t likely to help.

The fastest and most powerful Bentley ever, the 2010 Supersports was also due to be the company’s first model capable of running on bio-fuels like E85. But a variety of problems means the first Supersports to hit our shores will be limited to a diet of gasoline.

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The surprise announcement left more than a few journalists choking on their canapes when it was revealed during last week’s media preview of the first ‘green’ Bentley that the green would be late in arriving.

Bentley representatives confirmed to Green Car Advisor that U.S. homologation red-tape and engineering challenges – such as the fitment of hardened valve seats – means the first 200 Supersports to arrive stateside will not have the promised flex-fuel capability.

Subsequent Supersports, however, will be capable of running on bio-fuel, according to Bentley Motors.

The car, introduced at this year’s Geneva auto show, is the performance flagship for the Bentley Continental range.

After removing 243 lbs from the Continental’s substantial curb-weight, Bentley engineers tuned the twin-turbocharged W-12 motor to produce 621-hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. When it goes on sale later next year the Supersports will carry a price-tag of roughly $267,000.

Green Car Advisor


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