Bentley’s outgoing boss has revealed Bentley are planning to drop their trademark 6¾ litre V8 and introduce hybrid and diesel options.
Bentley’s famed 6¾ litre V8 engine – in production since 1959, although it didn’t grow to 6¾ litre until 1970 - is as much a USP for Bentley as the badge and the history.
BMW tried to bring production of the old iron lump to an end in 1998 – replacing it with a characterless BMW 4.4 litre V8 – but it was back a year later when VW took over as the motivation for the Red Label Arnage – and it’s stayed ever since.
But now it’s on its way out as Bentley becomes the Flagship for VW’s V12 engine production, which means the Bentley range-topper – the Bentley Mulsanne – will have to have a V12 and not the venerable V8.
The news comes from Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley and Bugatti’s outgoing boss, who also revealed that Bentley will be introducing diesel engines – and not just for the Bentley SUV. What engine is that likely to be? Herr Dürheimer didn’t say, but Audi’s V8 TDI seems the most likely candidate.
He also re-confirmed that Bentley would be offering a plug-in hybrid, although that’s more about conforming to EU plans to restrict ICE cars in cities than any green agenda. A range of 20 miles or so for a plug-in Bentley would be enough for Bentley owners to get in an out of European cities on EV power alone.
Oddly, we’re more disturbed at the loss of the wonderful 6¾ litre V8 than the introduction of diesel and hybrid engines at Bentley.
Source: Car & Driver