Friday, March 07, 2008

Oxymoron of the month?

Eco-Bentley. Now there's a term I'll bet you never expected to see! But, according to this from ThisIsCheshire, Bentley are indeed trying to implement a "far-reaching environmental strategy to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy."

"A new powertrain will be introduced by 2012, delivering a 40% reduction in fuel consumption, while maintaining current levels of performance. And all engines across the range will become compatible with the use of renewable fuels by 2012, with the initial rollout beginning by next year."

OK, maybe I've been a little sarcastic, and perhaps I even owe them an apology; but I do find it quite hard to equate luxury, extremely expensive vehicles, that only the top 1 or 2 percent of the wealthiest amongst us can even contemplate buying, with the word Eco.

Green stretched limo anyone?

Bentley maybe going to do Eco-Cars, but Rolls-Royce do it up in the stratosphere with their updated Trent 'Eco-Engine'! No, I'm being unfair, I made that up, but how long before we see RR marketing claiming the updated engine actually is eco-friendly because it consumes 30% less fuel? I'll give it three months tops.


Peter said...

Actually, I thought you were talking about the Kia Oxymoron, as it seems new, or at least sensible new car names are proving hard to find these days.

Gotta say... bless.

You did also rather forget to mention in your penultimate para a few engineering realties and their consequences, especially when you have two tons of car being propelled by 8 (or is it 12?) cylinders of probably 500cc a pop... pot.

But as they exist, maybe it's a 'better than nothing'. One wonders what a 40% reduction brings the consumption to? 20mpg? And what, by 2012, the average of a 2 Litre with a reasonable performance might give you to take 4 in comfort and safety from A to B. Not an area oft discussed by many of those rattling eco-cages, from the Governator in his hydrogen Hummer to the Beemer celeb giveaway of choice: the 6L 7 series. I guess they don't do small as well as alternative in trying to set an emmissions example. It may be water coming out the pipe, but if you are using more per mile than others it still has to use energy to get to the tank!

I think we are seeing some fun and games betwixt the marketing guys, PR and those reading the tealeaves of the next EU pronouncement.

Dave said...

It all seems part of the desperate race to be seen to be green, irrespective of whether you are, or not. Coming after the whale meat suggestion the other day, this story had me in stitches.

Hey, maybe we should suggest to Bentley that they call their new model the Bentley Oxymoron? I don't think the irony would get past their marketing guys though. But then, when they get their first hydrogen fuel celled model out, they could could that the Bentley Hyrdomoron, or, their first Ammonia powered vehicle, the Bentley Ammoniamoron?

You just gotta laugh sometimes.

Peter said...

I wonder if it is a question of time before the phrase 'eco-friendly' ceases to mean anything save as a glib ad phrase?

I'd concede 'friendlier than current' at a pinch, but it's a stretch in the current climate to be able to label anything that adds to the carbon costs, in either manufacture and/or use, as being 'friendly' to the the ecosphere.

I guess 'less eco-cataclysmic' doesn't have the same ring.