Bentley's storied V8 engine is turning a remarkable 50 years old and like a fine wine, the engine keeps getting better with age.
The engine was originally introduced in the 1959 Bentley S2 Continental and thanks to continual development it is still used today in the Arnage, Azure, and Brooklands. As trustee of the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation states "today's engine is true to the original design. However, it has achieved power and torque increases of over 150 percent through the skilful introduction of fuel injection, turbocharging and intercooling technologies whilst remaining compliant with the latest emissions standards. It is an extraordinary engineering story spanning five decades which deserves to be celebrated."
In the Brooklands the 6.75-liter V8 engine is rated at 530bhp and an outstanding 1050 Nm (774 lb-ft) of torque. With all that power under the hood, the massive coupe can reach 0-60 mph in just 5 seconds while the top speed is 184 mph.
50 years is an outstanding lifespan for any engine but with fuel economy and emissions regulations becoming harder and harder to meet, we could be seeing the last few years of the classic V8. Expect the end to come with Bentley launches their replacement for the Arnage in the coming year.