Though much of the focus on improved fuel economy has come from automakers servicing the lower end of the market, luxury car makers have been paying more than just lip service to green technologies. Bentley once prided itself on its massive engines, but in a bid to be a bit greener, has confirmed that a diesel V12 or V8 is on tap for future cars.
What the next diesel engine won’t be is a V10, Bentley execs confirmed, though both a V8 and a V12 are still on the table. More likely than not though, the diesel V8 will get the nod, as even luxury automakers are trending towards smaller, more efficient engines. Big engines are not as in vogue now that car makers like Tesla Motors are promoting a greener sort of luxury vehicle.
Bentley is also looking to get into the SUV as well, and has dabbled in biofuels before, though it remains uncommitted to technologies like hybrid or electric vehicles until recently. Other companies under the Volkswagen corporate umbrella, however, are embracing performance-oriented plug-in hybrids and powerful diesel engines already, and it wouldn’t be too much effort to stuff one of those drivetrains under the massive hood of a Flying Spur.
While the fuel economy of a 5,000 pound luxury barge powered by a turbodiesel V8 isn’t likely to be spectacular, it’s another lumbering step forward for Bentley. It wasn’t that long ago that this old school luxury brand didn’t concern itself with such trifling issues as fuel economy or emissions. The times, they are a-chargin’.