Bentley’s new V8 shares ‘over 90 per cent’ of its parts with the Audi version, despite more torque
Julian Rendell
10 January 2012

Bentley’s new 500bhp V8 shares ‘over 90 per cent’ of its parts with the Audi version, despite boasting significantly more torque, but fewer horsepower. The power and torque differences are purely down to the different electronic tune of the two versions.

“The advantage of starting the design from the ground-up in conjunction with Audi is that we could both get what we want out of the same design,” says engineering boss Brian Gush.

Read about the new Bentley Continental V8 at Detroit

The key differences are minor ones like the dipstick, oil filler cap and engine cover. Bentley wanted a dipstick so that owners could check their oil, whereas Audi didn’t. So the Hungarian-built V8 is machined to take a dipstick, which Bentley fits at Crewe, while Audi plugs the hole its version doesn't need.

A polished, chrome-look oil filler is also a difference on the Bentley version alongside a Bentley-only, specially insulated engine cover.

Read our Bentley Continental V8 first drive review

The latter is needed because the V8’s twin-turbos are mounted in the vee on top of the engine, with little clearance to the Continental V8’s bonnet skin.

The installations of the V8 in the Continental V8 and Audi RS8/RS6 are also different. Bentley uses its own, two-position switchable active mounts, Audi a different active system. ‘That’s just due to the different NVH requirements in the different bodyshells, particularly with cylinder de-activation,’ says Gush.

Both Bentley and Audi versions use cylinder de-activation, based on the system introduced on the Mulsanne.

While Audi includes a cockpit display to let the driver know when the V8 is running as a four-cylinder, Bentley doesn’t.

The all-alloy V8 is lighter than the W12, reducing the weight in the nose of Continental by 25kg.

Join the debate

Comments
9

10 January 2012

[quote Autocar]“The advantage of starting the design from the ground-up in conjunction with Audi is that we could both get what we want out of the same design,”[/quote]

Sounds like a good engine. Nothing wrong with sharing parts, it's the whole car which makes it a Bentley, not just the engine.

10 January 2012

[quote Symanski]Nothing wrong with sharing parts, it's the whole car which makes it a Bentley, not just the engine.[/quote]

Having an engine that is almost entirely not-Bentley is entirely befitting of what amounts to a D1 platform VAG product with bouffant styling and faux chrome plastic grille to match the faux teeth, lips and boobs of its occupants.

We forget that old W.O. started off making engines and that early Bentleys comprised the powerplant and transmission and not a great deal else, one's coach builder of choice completing the picture. If you ignore Audi's clever marketing for a moment, traditionally speaking what's under the bonnet should be 90% of the magic in this car, not 90% borrowed from some city geezer's wife's SUV.

10 January 2012

[quote Symanski]Nothing wrong with sharing parts[/quote]

This is a Bentley for crying out loud not some pointless german hatchback...

10 January 2012

People seem to forget that Rolls Royce Bentley used a horrible ex-yank engine design for decades. It is what they did to it that made it Bentley.

10 January 2012

[quote Zadster]

People seem to forget that Rolls Royce Bentley used a horrible ex-yank engine design for decades. It is what they did to it that made it Bentley.

[/quote] you're confused.

10 January 2012

The engine used in the Phantom derived from the N73 BMW V12 but it was a great choice using it instead of the V16 planned that would have cost too much and compromised the rest of the car attention to the details. They made what it is one of the greatest car without having a unique engine under the bonnet. They increased the displacement a bit just to clarify that is not the same engine in the 760 but they were very close.

10 January 2012

[quote matsoc]They made what it is one of the greatest car without having a unique engine under the bonnet.[/quote] different concept entirely. That car is genuinely unique in that it shares none of its underpinnings with any other vehicle, and while the engine may be derived the powerplant isn't what the Phantom nor indeed the brand is about. This is why the model was chosen for battery power publicity last year, in that what RR customers want is something that propels their palace with gusto - to hell with the driving experience if the only person to benefit is the chauffeur!

10 January 2012

[quote Autocar]despite boasting significantly more torque[/quote] Ths S8 puts out 479lbft, the Bentley 487lbft. 8lbft or 1.7% is significantly more?!

11 January 2012

[quote ThwartedEfforts]different concept entirely. That car is genuinely unique in that it shares none of its underpinnings with any other vehicle, and while the engine may be derived the powerplant isn't what the Phantom nor indeed the brand is about. This is why the model was chosen for battery power publicity last year, in that what RR customers want is something that propels their palace with gusto - to hell with the driving experience if the only person to benefit is the chauffeur![/quote]

I totally agree, it was just the point I was making. In some cars the 90% of the magic is not under the bonnet...

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK