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Starting this fall, the 2011 Buick Regal will be E85 capable, marking the first time a direct-injection turbo motor can run on biofuel.
The E85 turbo engine was originally intended for the new Saab 9-5, but with the Swedish luxury division out of GM’s hands, the engine needed a new home. The base 2.4L four-cylinder will be E85 capable as well. The turbo engine in particular is expected to eliminate the fuel economy discrepancy that occurs when running on E85. Motors running on ethanol tend to see a 15 percent drop in fuel economy, however GM expects the gap to narrow below 10 percent on the turbo engine, with virtually no discrepancy in the future.
It’s really all just speculation at this point but there are reports the Bentley’s new supercar will make as much as 630hp and hit 62 mpg in just 4 seconds. And as ridiculous as that sounds, it might be an understatement.
Currently the Continental GT Speed makes 600hp from Bentley’s famous twin-turbo W12 and those Bentley engineers haven’t even begun to tap into the available power in that massive 6.0-liter engine.
According to a report on Gas2.0, it is quite likely that the Bentley Supercar will use a technology called Ethanol Boosted Direct Injection, or EBDI. Bentley has already announced that it will focus upcoming engineering efforts on biofuels (aka Ethanol) and considering the performance advantaged of EBDI, this isn’t a stretch.
EBDI technology allows, for the first time, for a FlexFuel vehicle to use direct injection optimally for either gas, ethanol or a blend of both.
EBDI is the invention of a company called Ricardo; and while that doesn’t mean much to most people, Ricardo has worked with VW and Audi in the past, helping to develop past direct injection technologies, as found on Audi’s Le Mans race cars and now in its street cars. And with Bentley being owned by VW/Audi, the connection almost becomes a no-brainer.
In fact, in the Ricado press release announcing the EBDI technology breakthrough, the company comments that it is currently doing testing on a VW VR6 engine – essentially a naturally aspirated half of the Bentley W12. Ricardo states that its technology works perfectly with high-boost turbocharging to achieve the higher compression required to optimize ethanol combustion. The company also said that a EBDI VR6 could replace a larger V8 engine – hence our belief that the Bentley Supercar will make more than 630hp.
“We’ve moved past theoretical discussion and are busy applying renewable energy technology to the real world,” said Ricardo Inc President Dean Harlow. “The EBDI engine project is a great example because it turns the gasoline-ethanol equation upside down. It has the performance of a diesel at the cost of a gasoline engine, and runs on ethanol, gasoline, or a blend of both.”
Note: Reports say that the Bentley Supercar may achieve its four-second 0-60 time by removing the rear seats. We’ll have to wait for Geneva to find out.