Building the 2011 Bentley Mulsanne's V-8 Engine

Building the 2011 Bentley Mulsanne's V-8 Engine

A new SUV, a diesel engine, even a hybrid, are all possible future options for Bentley now that former Porsche exec Wolfgang Durheimer is at the helm.

Having already pioneered all three of the above for Porsche, something that would have seemed out of this world just a decade ago, Durheimer is now about to do the same all over again, only this time at Bentley.

While to some, including many within the company, launching a diesel or SUV may be sacrilege for Bentley, strong demand, especially from emerging markets, is making it look more and more likely.

What’s interesting is that just a year ago, under the guidance of former CEO Frank-Josef Paefgen, Bentley was intent on using gasoline V-8s exclusively. But why the sudden change?

Speaking with What Car?, Durheimer explained that modern diesels were almost as refined as their gasoline-powered equivalents, and their strong pulling power ideal for Bentley’s lineup. Citing Audi’s V-12 TDI engine as an example, Durheimer said its 738 pound-feet of torque would be perfect for a stately and luxurious SUV, though he was quick to point out that gasoline engines, including big 12-cylinder units, have a firm place in Bentley’s future.

He even revealed that hybrids were a possibility, which comes as no surprise as they would perfectly complement either a diesel or gasoline engine in light of fuel economy and emissions regulations that will inevitably become stricter as the years roll on.

You may recall that Bentley’s previous green strategy was to develop cars capable of running on ethanol-based biofuels. That would be fine except most Bentley drivers would never use it, mostly due to a lack of availability.

Thankfully, with Durheimer at the helm, Bentley’s future looks bright but with an actual shade of green this time.

[What Car?, Autocar via MotorAuthority]


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.