The press release from Bentley starts with a statement saying that the Continental Supersports adds recyclability to its green credentials. Wait, hold on a minute… did I hear Bentley using the words ‘green’ in the same sentence as its most powerful road car?

Better go back and check they’re not in fact talking about the choice of interior trim in the Supersports’ sumptuous cabin.

No, they are indeed referring to ‘green’ as in ‘environmentally friendly’ – the Continental Supersports is the first Bentley to use FlexFuel technology which enables it to run on E85 biofuel, gasoline or any combination of these two fuels – but Bentley have further underlined these ‘green credentials’ by meeting the 85% recyclability standard (95% for recoverability) demanded of all the Bentley Continental range.

What an interesting week to publish such news.

Dr. Arno Homburg, Head of Whole vehicle Development at Bentley Motors saiid; “Producing the fastest Bentley was a challenge in itself. However, we were equally determined not to sacrifice any environmental aspect in pursuit of this goal. The result is the paradox that the most extreme Bentley ever, is also the greenest”.

The Supersports is the first iteration of the environmental strategy Bentley launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2008. Powered by gasoline, E85 bio-fuel or any combination of these two fuels, the Supersports can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 70% on a well-to-wheel basis.

It is one element of a broader Bentley strategy which will see by 2012 the company’s average fleet CO2 emissions reduced by 15% and the introduction of a new powertrain that will by itself deliver a 40% reduction in fuel consumption. This programme is also supported at the Bentley factory where the use of gas, electricity and water have all been reduced significantly despite Bentley achieving record levels of production in recent years.

As Dr Homburg then adds:

“It is part of our responsibility as a car maker to contribute to environmental improvements and with Supersports you can see an evolution of this thinking. Even though Bentleys last a very long time – nearly 70% of all cars ever made are still on the road or in collections – we have still sought to ensure any environmental impact is minimised. The wide use of natural materials such as wood and leather and the craftsmanship inherent in their use naturally favours us here.”

So congratulations to Bentley – but I suspect the Continental Supersports still wouldn’t be a politically correct choice at Copenhagen this week.

Written By

Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

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