Silent and dutiful like the butler who's been serving the family tea and scones for decades, yet as alarming as Ms. Doubtfire's right hook when you prod the accelerator, the balanced-and-blueprinted 6-and-3/4-litre V-8 has been wafting Bentleys forth in near-silence for 50 years. Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board for Engineering at Bentley Motors, will detail the engine's history tomorrow at the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation lecture.
Never a slouch in the torque department, modern engine management software and a couple turbos huffing pressurized O2 into the cylinders have spiked output to a dizzying 530 hp and 774 lb-ft torque in the 2009 Bentley Brooklands. Other versions of the engine power the Bentley Arnage and Bentley Azure convertible.
Bentley Brooklands 6.75-litreEnlarge Photo
Said John Lowe of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, "the Bentley V8 is a prime example of how a well executed original design has endured and evolved under the right guardianship. We look forward to hearing Ulrich's views on how an engine first built in 1959 has been improved by generations of Bentley engineers."
Feeding eight big-bore cylinders with premium gasoline is a chore best left to trust funds and fat dividend checks; Bentley doesn't concern itself with fiddle-faddle like cylinder de-activation and electric motors to ease the drain on gas tank and wallet. Celebrate glorious, conspicuous consumption like this while it lasts; even Benz and BMW are getting in on the gas-savings game.
Full details of Dr. Eichhorn's lecture will be available at www.imeche.org/playback.