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Bentley Bringing Plug-in SUV Concept to Geneva

Maker to put “green” spin on its planned luxury ute.

by on Mar.01, 2012

After taking over from Franz-Josef Paefgen (r), Bentley's new CEO Woflgang Durheimer has pressed for the development of the marque's first SUV.

Big SUVs are so outré, or so the environmentalists would have you believe, and they may be right considering the continued migration of traditional truck-based SUVs to more efficient crossovers.  So what is a Bentley to do as it prepares to bring its first sport-utility vehicle to market?  How about putting a green spin on the new offering by driving it into Geneva’s PALExpo using a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Whether we’ll actually see Bentley deliver this battery-based powertrain to market anytime soon will be one of the big questions likely to dominate the maker’s news conference at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, next week.

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The unusual approach, first reported by Automotive News, would clearly put an environmentally friendly halo around a brand not typically associated with green machines.  That could be useful considering the as yet-unnamed Bentley SUV will be going up against a wave of new luxury utes coming from makers as diverse as Maserati and Lamborghini, never mind Porsche, which will add the downsized Macan to its current Cayenne line.

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Bentley Adds V-8 to Continental Line-Up

Luxury maker aims to boost mileage, maintain performance.

by on Dec.13, 2011

Bentley aims to improve mileage with its new V-8.

It isn’t often one hears a V-8 described as a way to save fuel.  But not many makers today rely solely on V-12 power, so with the addition of new twin-turbo V-8 to its Continental line-up Bentley just might be able to meet its goal of slashing the fuel consumption of its typical vehicle.

The new twin-turbo 4-liter V-8 is expected to continue delivering the sort of performance Bentley buyers continue to demand, the maker says, noting that the new engine will be able to propel a nearly 5,000 machine from 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds.

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The engine, shared with the Audi S8 – both makers being part of the Volkswagen empire – will first appear in the coming year under the hood of the Continental GT coupe and GTC convertible models.  While specific fuel economy numbers haven’t been finalized, Bentley is broadly hinting at mileage in the range of 21 mpg Combined.  That might not sound like much in this era but would go a long way towards meeting the ultra-luxury maker’s goal of boosting its Corporate Average Fuel Economy numbers by 40%.

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