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FlexFuel technology now offered across 2011 Bentley Continental range

2011 Bentley Continental FlexFuel technology
  • The standardization of pioneering FlexFuel technology across the 2011 Continental model range is the next step in delivering Bentley’s environmental strategy.
  • FlexFuel compatible Bentley Continentals now available in the US market for the first time.
  • Over half of Bentley’s production volume in 2010 will now be FlexFuel compatible.

Bentley Motors today announced that its FlexFuel technology, pioneered on the Continental Supersports Coupe in 2009, now extends across the complete 2011 Continental range, including the new Supersports Convertible. The W12 6-litre power unit now has the technology to run on petrol, E85 bioethanol or any mix of these two fuels – all from a single tank.

Bentley announced its environmental strategy at the Geneva Motor Show in 2008. The three-fold strategy committed the Company to reduce overall CO2 emissions by 15% by 2012; to introduce a new powertrain which will, by itself, deliver a 40% saving in fuel economy; and a commitment that the entire model range would be compatible with renewable fuels, also by 2012.

The first tangible step in the delivery of that strategy was unveiled in Geneva last year with the launch of the Continental Supersports, the first Bentley to be able to run on gasoline, E85 bioethanol or any combination of the two fuels.

Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible

Geneva 2010 marks another significant step forward. From 2011 Model Year, (available June 2010), the entire Continental range will be FlexFuel in all markets – including, for the first time, North American. This includes the new Supersports Convertible – the fastest 4 seat production convertible ever. With this development, over half of Bentley’s production volume in 2010 will be FlexFuel compatible. This advance will ensure Bentley customers can take advantage of the recent expansion of renewable fuel infrastructure in key markets including the US and thus help reduce dependency on fossil fuels and give immediate benefits in terms of CO2 emissions.

Bentley Chairman & CEO, Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen, said: ‘When we launched our environmental strategy in Geneva two years ago, it was a clear pledge to reduce the impact of our cars on the environment. This latest development is proof of our commitment and is a significant step towards the achievement of our 2012 targets.’

Bentley remains on track to deliver all of its environmental strategy targets. The 6.75 litre V8 engine, completely re-engineered for the new Mulsanne, delivers a 15 per cent reduction inCO2 emissions as well as improved power and torque, through the introduction of two new control systems; cam phasing and, a first for the ultra-luxury sector, cylinder deactivation. This reduction in emissions will be matched across the range by 2012. In addition, the development of the all-new powertrain which will deliver a 40% improvement in fuel economy with the performance expected of a true Bentley is progressing well with an announcement expected within the year.

1. FlexFuel offers the possibility of up to a 70 per cent reduction in CO2 net emissions on a ‘well to wheel’ basis, calculated by adding the CO2 emitted during the extraction and refining process (the ‘well’) with the CO2 released when the fuel is burnt during motoring (the ‘wheel’).

2. Biofuels can be sourced from crops such as sugar cane and soybean, or from secondary sources such as agricultural waste and forestry residues. As biofuels are not derived from fossil fuels, the CO2 released during combustion is reabsorbed by plants during the photosynthesis process, thus creating an unbroken energy cycle.

3. Bioethanol is often blended with petrol in a variety of percentages ranging from E10 (10 per cent bioethanol) to the most widely known, E85, blended to a ratio of 85% bioethanol to 15 per cent petrol to ensure cold-start capability.

4. To adapt Bentley engines to this fuel, a complete review of the fuel system was needed including the replacement of components insufficiently resistant to the properties of ethanol. These included all O-rings, seals, gaskets and pipes, new valve coatings and hardened valve seat and new spark plugs with a wider heat range allow for slower combustion. A sensor in the fuel supply system in the Bentley FlexFuel range detects the blending ratio in real time and varies the engine mapping to ensure power, torque and emissions remain at the same levels whatever fuel is used.

– Bentley Motors

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