Bentley launched the new 2011 Continental GT last year, and with it revealed that it’s developing a new 4.0-liter V-8 with Audi. Information has slowly been leaking out about the engine and reports now indicate that it will come with two turbochargers and put out at least 505 horsepower.
According to Autocar, Bentley’s new 4.0-liter V-8 will be available in two different forms — a single and a twin-turbocharged version. Although two different versions of the V-8 may be under development, our inside source at Bentley has led us to speculate that the Continental V-8 will only get a twin-turbocharged V-8, as per the norm for the Bentley lineup. That engine will most likely put out in excess of 505 horsepower — currently the lowest horsepower figure found at the British marque. Autocar indicates that it will be something closer to 555 horsepower, which is just shy of the current twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter W-12’s output of 567 horsepower.
This new engine is supposedly part of Bentley’s plan to cut emissions and eclipse the 100 horsepower per liter mark with all of its future engines. This is an interesting target, as Bentley is typically known for extremely torquey engines rather than rev-happy, powerful engines. Part of Bentley’s smooth driving characteristics has always been the seemingly infinite torque bands.
Despite the goal of eclipsing 100 horsepower per liter, the engine is still reported to produce prodigious amounts of torque, which will be a key difference between the Audi and Bentley states of tune.
As we’ve previously learned, this engine will likely be coupled to Audi’s seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission for near instantaneous shifts. That is all we know for now, but we like the sound of how this engine is coming together. We’ll see the final specification(s) of the whole powertrain in early 2012.