Amid downsizing trends and the arrival of Bentley’s all-new V8, the automaker continues with the development of the 12-cylinder engine. When interviewed by What Car?, Bentley's technical director Ralf Frech said that the W12 could have the same improvements as the new V8.
He asserted that the existing 12-cylinder that has been fitted to the Continental range would have improvements to enhance fuel economy and power, maybe bringing it near to 600bhp.
In comparison, the current W12 has 567bhp. The other sources implied that Bentley engineers have developed an eight-speed auto gearbox to replace the existing six-speeder.
In addition, Frech claimed that Bentley is considering hybrid technology, specifically a plug-in hybrid. He said that the company is waiting for the next generation of technologies since “none of the current solutions work.” Bentley sources said that the Mulsanne luxury limo and upcoming SUV would most likely be offered with a hybrid option.
The new Bentley Continental GT V8 convertible and GTC V8 coupé achieve exceptional power-to-emissions standards in the luxury sports car sector. Both have a 4-liter, twin turbocharged V8 engine that generates a maximum power of 500bhp at 6000 rpm, as well as an extraordinary 660 Nm peak torque, providing effortless power delivery and exhilarating performance in typical Bentley fashion. This, together with the cars’ close-ratio eight-speed automatic transmission, translates into a 0-60 mph (sub-five-second) acceleration time and an over 180-mph top speed.
Similarly, these new V8 Continental models offer outstanding CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency levels for the high luxury performance sector. They are also capable of running over 500 miles on just one tank of fuel. The full and official figures are going to be released early 2012.
The arrival of these new V8 Continental cars fulfills the luxury carmaker’s environmental commitment to create a new powertrain that is able to deliver a 40% improvement in CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency.
Moreover, the new V8 engine boasts variable displacement with a sophisticated engine management system. This ensures an imperceptible and seamless transition to V4 from V8 mode under a light throttle load.
What’s more, the high-technology V8 engine offers greater efficiency by featuring high-pressure direct injection, energy recuperation through the charging system, thermal management, low friction bearings, as well as innovative turbo charger packaging.
This new 4-liter V8 engine also has an instantly recognizable growl, which differentiates it from the others in the Bentley lineup.