Bentley has launch its long-awaited twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine at the Detroit motor show
9 January 2012

Bentley has launched its long-awaited twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine at the Detroit motor show today, saying it promises “an instantly recognisable growl”.

The engine will initially be offered in special versions of the Continental GT and GTC, identifiable by their black grilles, red badges and ‘figure eight’ exhaust pipes. The models will be positioned below existing 6.0-litre W12 Continentals, which will stay in production.

The new V8, which uses direct high-pressure fuel injection and cuts to a fuel-sipping four-cylinder mode on light throttle loads, produces 500bhp at 6000rpm and 487lb ft of torque between 1700 and 5000rpm. Using a new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, which also improves efficiency, the V8 Continental has a top speed of 180mph, with 0-60mph acceleration below five seconds.

Bentley won’t reveal precise fuel consumption and CO2 figures until early next year. Nor has it said whether the engine has been engineered to run on bio-ethanol, like the 6.0-litre W12. However, it expects V8-powered Continentals to be able to cover more than 500 miles on a single tank of fuel.

The move fulfils a Bentley commitment, made three years ago, to deliver a new powertrain with fuel consumption and CO2 emissions reduced by 40 per cent compared with the W12 engine that has until now powered all Continental models, more than 50,000 of which have been sold since launch in 2003.

The new engine is closely related to the similar-sized unit already used in Audi’s S6, S7 and S8 models, but its power and torque characteristics have been uniquely configured to suit the marque values of Bentley’s cars.

Sophisticated Crewe-configured engine management allows a “seamless and imperceptible” transition to four-cylinder running on light loads. Other technical highlights include special low-friction bearings, thermal management to avoid excess heat loss, energy recuperation via an intelligent charging system and turbo packaging within the engine’s vee to reduce throttle lag.

Q&A with Brian Gush, Bentley Powertrain boss

How similar is your engine to the Audi V8?

"They are related, but producing the V8 was a collaborative effort. Our teams started it together; it helps with big things like sump and block design."

The configuration for Bentley is unique, isn’t it?

"It is on things like this we and Audi went our separate ways. We’ve put the power and torque where we believed they should be to suit our cars."

How much does four-cylinder running boost economy?

"On the European drive cycle, our calculations showed an improvement of about eight per cent. But we did some real-world testing with drivers who hadn’t been told about cylinder deactivation and they returned an improvement of nearly 10 per cent. It’s a big benefit."

Will the engines be made in Crewe?

"Audi has a plant in Hungary and the base engines will be put together there. But we’ll dress them in Crewe, the way we do with other engines. It allows us some manufacturing efficiencies, but still makes them bespoke engines."

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Bentley Continental GT

Full of character and still able to impress, particularly as a V8

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Comments
33

12 December 2011

If that is correct that the engines are substantially manufactured in Hungary and not even Germany I can't help think that for such an upmarket icon with a price point to match, that the mechanicals should certainly be prefarably made in the Uk even if German input is required, but certainly not the Eastern Block.It it a trebant engine you ask ? thats the problem with the uk we put up with Mini Countryman made in Austria [ quite poorly and wasting costs of a third party assembler and Aston Martin did the same thing with their saloon . I could go on with the likes of designer clothing and the way they are made in the same factories as Asda ,Tesco ,Sainsbury's M&S mainly in China and the Far East with their pricing structure they could justify it being manufactured in the UK, Germany France etc . You might just as well buy the cheaper products and invest the balance it is the strike of people power. I have blacked Douwe Eggberts coffee now the tight fisted ......s have reduced the size to 190 grams sorry to go on and have a moan but these Companies treat their customers as pathetic morons.

12 December 2011

I wonder how much this new V8 Bentley will cost, because the idea sharing an engine with a car, say S6 with would probably cost only a fraction of this is undoubtely annoying.

12 December 2011

[quote Ski Kid]If that is correct that the engines are substantially manufactured in Hungary and not even Germany I can't help think that for such an upmarket icon with a price point to match, that the mechanicals should certainly be prefarably made in the Uk even if German input is required, but certainly not the Eastern Block.It it a trebant engine you ask ? thats the problem with the uk we put up with Mini Countryman made in Austria [ quite poorly and wasting costs of a third party assembler and Aston Martin did the same thing with their saloon . I could go on with the likes of designer clothing and the way they are made in the same factories as Asda ,Tesco ,Sainsbury's M&S mainly in China and the Far East with their pricing structure they could justify it being manufactured in the UK, Germany France etc . You might just as well buy the cheaper products and invest the balance it is the strike of people power. I have blacked Douwe Eggberts coffee now the tight fisted ......s have reduced the size to 190 grams sorry to go on and have a moan but these Companies treat their customers as pathetic morons.[/quote]

Something of an unintelligable rant going on here?

The base engine is built in the same Hungarian plant that produces the Audi TT, and whilst I don't like the car, the quality is as any other VW plant. As the article says, the engine is completed in Crewe to Bentley specification.

12 December 2011

Cheaper or same price?

Peter Cavellini.

12 December 2011

Yes, the engine will be built in Gyor plant, in a brand new division just made for these Audi engines. It's an all new state of the art division of the plant creating 60 new jobs.

12 December 2011

[quote Ski Kid]I have blacked Douwe Eggberts coffee now the tight fisted ......s have reduced the size to 190 grams sorry to go on and have a moan but these Companies treat their customers as pathetic morons.[/quote] no, not really, it's all about price points and whether or not you would prefer to see the previous weight at a new higher price, or prefer buying at the same price but receiving less.

In case you hadn't noticed, most food commodities have increased by over 100% in the past 5 years.

DKW

12 December 2011

[quote Autocar]the V8 Continental has a top speed of 180mph[/quote] I wonder if this is correct. The previous generation Conti was known to be able to do 200 mph (VAG claims were just under). The new engine still generates 500 bhp, so I wouldn't expect the top speed to have dropped by as much as 20 mph.

DKW

12 December 2011

Still using the shift gate shared with a previous generation cheap Audi. Please Bentley, your interiors need complete modernisation. Shame the engines will be built elsewhere, there's nothing like the reassurance of knowing your car was built in the country with the highest teenage pregnancy, cocaine useage and obesity rates in Europe, not that Europe wants anything to do with us any more.

12 December 2011

[quote DKW]wouldn't expect the top speed to have dropped by as much as 20 mph[/quote] Yes because the w12 now produces almost 600 bhp, so it makes perfect sense for the entry level Bentley to be slower. on another note, it doesn't matter, if the engine block is made in Hungry, the engine block is just a block its not the most important part, as long as the injection and heads and all the other auxiliaries is assembled in the UK. by the way in the automotive industry now, there is no single country that makes all components, even the Germans don't make everything, as long as it is assembled their it doesn't matter.[quote DKW]he V8 Continental has a top speed of 180mph[/quote]

DKW

12 December 2011

[quote carnut][quote DKW]wouldn't expect the top speed to have dropped by as much as 20 mph[/quote] Yes because the w12 now produces almost 600 bhp, so it makes perfect sense for the entry level Bentley to be slower[/quote] That's true, but these are Bentley's stats from the 567 bhp original: 'Top speed: 198mph; ... Power: 567bhp at 6000rpm'. As the power required to overcome drag is proportional to the cube of the speed, the new top speed can be approximated from (cubic root of 500/567) x 198 = 189.87 mph. The new 8 speed gearbox should ensure an appropriate ratio is available too. As the new drivetrain is designed for improved efficiency, there shouldn't be increased transmission losses. Increases in track/frontal area are insufficient to explain the 10 mph shortfall.

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