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Bentley's new baby V8s

2011-02-01 07:14

LESS CONSPICIOUS CONSUMPTION: Bentley’s Continental GT may soon become a poster child for the brand’s more ‘environmentally aware’ product planning.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Bentley
Engine 4l V8 turbo
Power 315-, 405kW
Bentley has confirmed the technical details and output numbers for its smallest production V8 in years.

Although the automaker produces the most elegant cars imaginable for customers not in the least concerned by fuel consumption, the company’s hand has been forced into building more-efficient cars by ever increasing emissions regulation.

The solution wassimple: downsize capacity, while retaining performance by increasing efficiency with impeccably geared forced-induction.


Engineers at the factory in Crewe, central England, say their new four-litre, direct-injection V8 is an engine that will drive Bentley into the future without sacrificing the brand's heritage. It's going to power the new Continental GT with a choice of 315 or 408kW.

The power difference between the two is due to their respective turbocharging regimes: the 315kW version has a single turbine, the 408kW twin-turbocharging.

Although traditionalists will scoff at such a comparatively small engine for a contemporary Bentley, the company’s engineers say the new V8 achieves a specific output in excess of 73kW/litre of swept capacity. This means it falls well within the brand's performance requirements and should trim the Continental GT's kerb weight a touch too, lessening the mass burned over its front wheels and thereby sharpening the car's agility.

For those Bentley enthusiasts who prefer the classic 6.75-litre V8 (boosting by twin-turbo induction), there is some bad news – the entire 2011 Mulsanne production already has signatures against each and every unit.

So, if require your Bentley with 1020Nm of torque, the purchase will have to wait another year...

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