Bentley V8 engine turns 60November 16, 2019
A number of automakers are gearing up for an all-electric future, but the V8 engine has stood the test of time.
This is especially true for the V8 from Bentley, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Billed as the “longest-lived V8 in the world,” the engine dates back to the 1950s when Bentley was about to replace the six-cylinder engine used in the Mark VI, R-Type, and S1. This task was assigned to Jack Phillips, who was told that the new engine should be at least 50% more powerful than the six-cylinder, but not be larger or heavier. So there was a V8, which was built in just 18 months and debuted in 1959 with the Bentley S2.
With a working volume of 6.2 liters, the V8 weighed 13.6 kg less than its six-cylinder predecessor and offered significantly more power. The engine received its first updates in 1965 and was constantly upgraded to improve performance and reduce the size that would allow it to fit under the hood of the Bentley T-Series.
In 1971, the engine was updated again, and its volume grew to 6.75 liters, with which it has survived to the present day. During this update, engineers also increased their travel from 3.6 to 3.9 inches to provide even more torque. Additional updates followed in 1980 to launch the first-generation Mulsanne. Improvements focused on emissions and safety and included the installation of a “folding water pump”.
A more substantial update came with the launch of the Mulsanne Turbo. The model was equipped with one turbocharger and was the first forced induction vehicle since the so-called Benter Bentleys of the 1920s. Ultimately, a two-turbine installation will come in its place, which will allow the engine to develop more than 500 hp. and a torque of 737 Nm.
Now it takes 15 hours to create the current 6.75-liter V8 TwinTurbo. Nevertheless, it has sufficient performance, since in Mulsanne the engine develops 530 hp. and 811 Nm of torque. This allows the ultra-luxury sedan to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in 4.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 305 km / h.
“The original V8 was designed to provide a gradual change in performance along with smoothness, reliability and refinement. The engine was tested for hundreds of thousands of miles under the most severe conditions, as well as at full throttle for 500 hours. The success of the famous 6.75-liter Bentley V8 today at Mulsanne owes a lot to that spirit, ”said Dr. Werner Titz, Bentley’s chief engineer.
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