New V8 has variable displacement so can become a V4

New V8 has variable displacement so can become a V4

Two new Bentley Continental V8 models will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on 9 January, supplementing the W12 line.

The new four-litre, twin turbocharged V8 Continental GT coupé and GTC convertible achieve claimed "exceptional standards" for power-to-emissions in the high luxury sports car sector.

The new V8 engine delivers maximum power of 500bhp (507PS/373kW) at 6000rpm and peak torque of 660Nm (487lb ft) which is available across virtually the entire rev range from 1700 to 5000 rpm. Combined with a new close-ratio eight-speed automatic transmission, this translates into a sub-five second acceleration time for the 0-60 mph (0-100km/h) sprint and a top speed of over 180mph (290km/h).

Bentley claims "outstanding levels of fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions for the luxury performance sector" but won't release data until early 2012.

The automaker said the new models fulfil its environmental commitment to produce a new powertrain that delivers a 40% improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.

The new V8 engine features variable displacement and claimed imperceptible transition from V8 to V4 mode under light throttle load.

It also has high pressure direct injection, low friction bearings, thermal management, energy recuperation via the charging system and "innovative" turbocharger packaging for greater efficiency.

The two new Continental models will be offered beneath the flagship six-litre, 12-cylinder engined Continental GT and GTC.

Both new models have all-wheel drive with Torsen differential and a 40:60 rear biased power split.

Since launch in 2003, the W12-engined Continental range has achieved over 50,000 sales worldwide, making Bentley’s factory in Crewe, England, the largest producer of 12 cylinder engines in the world.

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