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Bentley to benefit from Audi V8

2010-10-14 08:02

LESS IS MORE: Despite losing four cylinders and 2l of capacity, the new V8 Continental GT will be negligibly less powerful than its W12 sibling.

Bentley is downsizing.

The company’s new Continental GT, shown at the Paris motor show recently, will debut V8 power towards the end of next year.

Traditionally the Continental GT, true to its billing as Bentley’s headline performance coupe, has since its introduction in 2003 only been available with 6l W12 power.

Facing realities

Bentley’s not immune to the realities of increasingly stringent emissions regulation though.

To ensure the company meets CO2 targets (and offers customers a less polluting engine alternative) there is now a twin-turbo V8 in the works.

Thanks to the its position within the VW family tree of automotive brands, Bentley’s new V8 is expected to be a twin-turbo unit sourced from Audi.

Predicted to be of 4-litre capacity, this new joint-venture Audi/Bentley V8 should come close to nearly halving the current 6l W12’s emissions figures.

With the V8 anticipated to produce 404kW, the new engine will shadow Bentley’s updated 6l W12 closely in terms of power, with the bigger engine now producing 423kW thanks to low friction internals and ancillaries, a digitally enhanced engine management system and low inertia turbochargers.

The presence of a much smaller V8 engine in Bentley’s Continental GT, and Audi’s penchant for dual-clutch transmission couplings, should see the new Continental GT V8 debut a seven-speed S tronic shifter, replacing the trusted ZF-sourced six-speed automatic. The greater efficiency (thanks to lower resistance) and seamless shift regime of a dual-clutch transmission should be well suited to the Continental GT application.  

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