The red winged 'B' and black gloss grille provide a strong indicator that a different Bentley powerplant nestles in the engine bay of the Bentley Continental GT V8 and its convertible stablemate. Settle into the supportive cobra-style seats, press the start button, and all is revealed. The new 4.0 litre Bentley engine comes to life with an unmistakable V8 burble: deep, sporty and ready for action. To achieve the 40 per cent efficiency improvement targeted by Bentley's Board of Directors back in 2008, Bentley's engineering team left no detail unexamined. The reduction in displacement from 6.0 litre W12 to 4.0 litre V8 was the first starting point - but a smaller capacity engine in itself would not have delivered anything close to the ambitious power and emissions targets. Variable displacement - deactivating cylinders when at a gentle cruising speed or light throttle - was already an area of Bentley expertise. The Bentley Mulsanne's 6.75 litre V8, though similar in format to the original Bentley V8 of 1959, features variable displacement as part of its technologically-advanced specification. Similar technology now features on the Bentley 4.0 V8: when the engine's control microprocessor detects a light throttle opening as the driver maintains a steady cruising speed or gentle acceleration or deceleration it closes the valves in four of the eight cylinders so that they simply act as air springs.
2013, Bentley, Continental, GTC, V8