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.