There are reports that the new turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine is being tested on the Bentley Continental GTC. Spy shots captured the lightly-disguised Speed variant of the next soft-top Continental. The engine is scheduled to go on sale next spring. Autocar said that the new Speed is actually much further out on the product plan.
The company is believed to be prioritizing its goal for the new engine to start production in early 2012. There are two V8 versions under development. One is a single-turbo unit with an output of 415bhp while the other one is a twin-turbo version that could deliver nearly 555bhp.
From these images, it can’t be determined what V8 version is being tested. However, the more open lower air intake implies that it’s one of the more powerful ones.
Its sportier-looking intake suggests that the new engine will be going to its Continental family. This sporty character is expected to be supported by a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission that Audi has badged as the ‘S-tronic’. To fit this transmission, Bentley had to do some major re-engineering to the floorpan of the Continental.
This transmission is being co-developed with Audi for its upcoming S6 and RS6. The S6 is expected to receive a single-turbo version of the new V8 with 440bhp. Meanwhile, the RS6 is predicted to get a twin-turbo that delivers nearly 555bhp of the most powerful Bentley.
It’s likely that the S6 will be seen at the Frankfurt motor show, which is also where Bentley will introduce the new GTC. But then, the V8 would probably be launched next year at the Detroit show, followed by Geneva.