Bentley are swinging between extremes this week. First off there was news of a Veyron W16 powered Arnage prototype skulking around the backstreets of Crewe. Now the Bentley head honcho Franz-Josef Paefgen has been heard to say that he also wants to keep ???old faithful??? in the line-up a little longer. Bentley???s current 6.75-litre V8 is looking down the barrel at its 50th birthday but Franz believes there is life in the old lump yet.
A redesigned Arnage is expected before 2010 and if the old V8 is going to continue on, then work will be required to keep it up to the minute with modern world fuel economy and emission requirements. One way of satisfying both of these requirements is by utilising hybrid technology.
Access to a hybrid powertrain is available through Bentley???s parent company, Volkswagen who are in the process of jointly developing just such a powertrain with Audi and Porsche for their Q7, Touareg and Cayenne SUV???s.
Franz is the first to admit that Bentley can???t turn a blind eye to what the rest of the world is doing and that they must look at more fuel efficient and emissions friendly powerplants but Bentley will be doing it without compromising the essence of their ???Bentley-ness???.