Special Coverage

Geneva
Auto Show

GENEVA – Proving even luxury brands are catching the “green” bug, Bentley Motors unveils a new 3-tier plan today at the auto show here with an eye toward improving vehicle fuel economy and reducing emissions.

“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 economy throughout our fleet,” Bentley CEO Franz-Josef Paefgen says.

Bentley says it will cut average fleet emissions at least 15% by 2012 through enhanced engine management systems and new, improved transmissions and 8- and 12-cyl. engines. Weight reduction of its models also will play a key role, the auto maker says.

In addition, Bentley plans to launch a new engine by 2012 that is capable of 40% higher fuel economy with no degradation in performance.

The luxury auto maker also will roll out a series of flex-fuel engines capable of being powered by renewable fuels beginning next year and finishing in 2012.

“It’s our conviction that renewable fuels, in particular second-generation biofuels, have strong potential,” Paefgen says of using non-food based crops as raw materials for fuel. “On a well-to-wheel basis, such fuels can deliver a consistently high net (carbon-dioxide) reduction of up to 90%.”

By combining all three measures of its new environmental plan, Bentley says it will have fleet-emissions levels of less than 120 g/km by 2012.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com