Porsche isn’t the only automaker racing this season with renewable fuel in its cars. Bentley has announced that its Continental GT3 Pikes Peak racer will run up the Colorado mountain course in late June powered by biofuel-based gasoline.
“This first step marks the start of a longer program that will investigate both biofuels and e-fuels for their potential to power the Bentleys of past and present in a sustainable way,” the company said in its announcement.
So-called renewable or e-fuels are being explored on several fronts as a way to keep gasoline-powered vehicles on the road in an increasingly electrified future.
“Bentley’s ambitious and transformational Beyond100 program will see the brand become the world’s leading sustainable luxury mobility company, with the entire Bentley model range offered with Hybrid variants by 2023 ahead of Bentley being BEV-only by 200,” the company said.
“The adoption of renewable fuel for this project signals the start of a long-term ambition for Bentley, initiating a research and development program that aims to offer renewable fuels to Bentley customers in parallel to Bentley’s electrification program. This two-strand strategy is set to maximize the pace of Bentley’s progress towards outright carbon neutrality, as part of its Beyond100 journey.
“Combustion-engine Bentleys will still be produced for the next nine years – and Bentley’s new project aims to make those cars as sustainable as possible through the use of innovative fuel technologies. With more than 80 percent of all Bentleys ever built still on the road, a genuinely sustainable and customer-facing renewable fuel offering will also allow customers to enjoy their current and classic Bentleys responsibly for years to come.”
“We are delighted to be returning to Pikes Peak for a third time – now powered by renewable fuel, as the launch project for another new element of our Beyond100 program,” Matthias Rabe, Bentley board member for engineering, was quoted in the announcement.
“Our powertrain engineers are already researching both biofuels and e-fuels for use by our customers alongside our electrification program – with intermediate steps of adopting renewable fuels at the factory in Crewe and for our company fleet. In the meantime, the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak will show that renewable fuels can allow motorsport to continue in a responsible way, and hopefully it will capture the third and final record in our triple crown.”
The British automaker went to Pikes Peake in 2018 and set a Production SUV speed record. It returned in 2019 to add a Production Car record. Again, driving its entry, in the Time Attack 1 class, is Rhys Millen. Bentley noted that its Continental GT3 Pikes Peak is being prepared for the “climb to the clouds” with British GT3 racing team Fastr.
“Various blends of fuels are currently being tested and evaluated, with possible greenhouse gas reductions of up to 85 percent over standard fossil fuel,” Bentley noted.
The 99th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is scheduled for June 27.