Those Bentley Boys (and Girls) have done it again - this time in the form of a carbon fiber, electric-powered speedster. Apprentices from Crewe have created the diminutive Continental DC special for some environment-friendly racing.
Measuring in at only 4.6 feet long, the DC is designed to compete in Britain's Greenpower Formula 24+ series. Open to young adults, the series promotes the design and development of compact electric racers, allowing some open-wheel fun with less environmental guilt.
Bentley's entry uses carbon fiber throughout its body structure, allowing the car to weigh a scant 265 pounds. Coupled with the DC's low coefficient of drag, a low weight helps create an efficient power-to-weight ratio. That's good, as power is limited to one source: a 24-volt, 240-watt direct-current motor normally used to propel wheelchairs. The motor develops a scant one-half horsepower and only 5 lb-ft of torque.
Two 12-volt batteries supply juice to the motor, which, through a compact CVT, powers the rear axle. Unlike Bentley's 2004 soap box racer, the DC is complete with luxuries including telemetry transponder, leather seating and a dashboard purportedly styled after full-size Bentleys.
The Continental DC made its first appearance at Greenpower's Corporate Challenge at Goodwood last weekend, but should be running in a host of Formula 24+ events throughout the summer.