Barry Park December 13, 2011 - 6:25PM
A new V8 that can shut off half its cylinders will soon power the British luxury brand.
Guilt has finally caught up with the ultra-luxury end of the car market, with British brand Bentley today revealing the fuel-efficient, part-time four-cylinder engine that will power it into the future.
From early next year, buyers will be able to bypass the traditional 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine – essentially a pair of 3.0-litre V6 engines arranged in a “W” formation – and replace it with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 that has the ability to shut down four cylinders while cruising.
According to Bentley, the new v8 still provides a healthy 373kW of power fairly high in the rev range, with torque topping out at 660Nm not far off idle, providing “exhilarating performance and effortless power delivery in the Bentley tradition,” the car maker says.
That compares with 412kW and 650Nm for the W12. The new engine's trump-card is its fuel efficiency, which Bentley claims saves up to 40 per cent over the existing engine.
In Australia, that means Bentley owners opting for the new engine can expect to use less than 10 litres per 100 kilometres, compared with the W12’s official 16.5L/100km average.
The engine, available initially on the Continental GT coupe and GTC convertible, will mate with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that is able to help the four-seater accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than 5.0 seconds.
However, Bentley’s smallest engine in some time does not mean the 2.0 tonne-plus Bentley range will follow suit with lighter, smaller models.
"Our customers at the moment don't want a light car," Robin Peel, Bentley's regional co-ordinator for the South-East Asian and Australasian region, told Drive at the recent launch of the new Continental GT.
“They want lots of things in a car. The characteristics of a Bentley are partly derived by its weight, its rigidity and its strength,” Peel says.
“[The two-seat, stripped-out Continental GT] Supersports was clearly our toe in the water about
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