When Bentley unveiled the new 2011 Continental GT, the luxury marque said that it plans on adding a second engine option in the form of a 4.0-liter V-8. Now, a few weeks after the car's debut, more details about the upcoming engine being co-developed with Audi have emerged.
Although a few more details about the 4.0-liter engine have surfaced, Audi and Bentley are for the most part, keeping their mouths shut. Bentley's director of chassis and powertrain, Brian Gush, revealed to What Car? that the engine will feature direct-injection. This will help increase the V-8's power output and fuel economy while simultaneously lowering emissions, with a target around 40-percent lower than the revised W-12 found in the car now.
Gush didn't reveal if the V-8 would feature turbochargers to increase output even further, but he did add that it "does not have a conventional layout." The only thing we can imagine this hinting at is that the V-8 is a narrow-angle unit that uses slightly offset cylinders to create a mix of a V-8 and straight-8. This could essentially be half of the Bugatti Veyron's 8.0-liter W-16.
In addition to slotting into Bentley's engine lineup alongside the current twin-turbo, 6.0-liter W-12, the engine is earmarked for several high-performance Audi products in the future. Gush says, however, that Bentley is adapting the engine to suit its needs, with lots of low- to mid-range torque rather than creating peak power at frantically high rpm.
While the new Continental GT may appear mechanically identical the outgoing car, revisions have made it a different beast. Revisions to the chassis, transmission, all-wheel-drive system, and stability control have completely changed the car's character, according to Gush. We'll see for ourselves when we drive the car, but Gush says the changes have made the big Bentley sharper and more focused. And with the revised stability control, the car will "recognize when the driver knows what he's doing and will not intervene."
We're interested to learn more about the new V-8 and see exactly which high-performance Audis the engine will get shoehorned into. More will be revealed en route to the Geneva Motor Show, which unfortunately isn't until March next year.
Source: What Car?