Bentley to introduce diesel engines, abandon its iconic 6.75-liter V8

Article by Christian A., on August 20, 2012

Bentley will offer a diesel option on its upcoming plug-in hybrid sedan. When interviewed by Car and Driver, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said that diesel prototypes have been made and are already running. It’s possible that the diesel will be an all-new engine but it will probably come from Volkswagen’s extensive range of TDI motors.

It’s very likely that he is referring to the new Audi V8 diesel. The 3.0-liter V-6 TDI would be far too little for the English luxury brand. On the other hand, the V-12 TDI hasn’t been raised to meet new emissions standards, and will soon be discontinued. In addition, Dürheimer revealed that the classic 6¾-liter V8 used in the Mulsanne will be terminated.

Bentley is seeking to be the leader within the Volkswagen group when it comes to V12′s. Its plan will be harmed by a V8 powered flagship. There’s a long history in the 6¾-liter, which first appeared in 1971 in a Bentley.

Many will attest that the 6¾-liter is most famous British V8 as it is the third longest produced engine. This decision was made after Rolls-Royce customers admitted that they won’t ever purchase a brand unit’s that powered by a diesel. Bentley is actually hoping to replicate the success of Porsche when it started offering a diesel variant.

According to Bentley, inside both the Continental GT coupé and the Continental GTC is a new engine which is able to deliver outstanding power-to-emission levels for a model in the high luxury sports car segment.

Specifically, this is the new twin turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine which is able to deliver output at a maximum of 500 bhp (373 kW/507 PS) at rev of 6,000 rpm. Top torque meanwhile is measured to be 487 lb.-ft. (660 Nm) and is accessible on a wide rev range from a low of 1,700 rpm to a high of 5,000 rpm. These figures are not surprising though as Bentley has long been known to deliver excellent performance while at the same time deliver power effortlessly.

When paired to the new automatic eight-speed transmission having a close ratio, the result is acceleration from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in almost 5 seconds. With this combination, maximum speed is at 180 mph (290 km/h).

Aside from being able to deliver excellent performance, the new engine also allows the Continental models to attain remarkable levels when it comes to both fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions. While official and full figures are scheduled to be released sometime in the early part of 2012, Bentley said that they will be exceptional for a vehicle that is in the luxury performance class.

On a full tank for example, the Continental models can travel at least 500 miles (800 km). With a variable displacement system plus a highly advanced engine management system, the new V8 engine is able to guarantee an effortless and unnoticeable shift, when running under a light throttle load, to the V4 model from the V8 mode.

It goes without saying that with this new engine, Bentley has managed to show that it is indeed committed to helping protect the environment as it achieves its goal of being able to offer a powertrain that improves fuel efficiency, as well as CO2 emissions, by 40%.

Topics: bentley, diesel, engine

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