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Bentley to phase out iconic 6 3/4 V8

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On: Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 11:34AM | By: Carl Malek

Bentley to phase out iconic 6 3/4 V8

With tightening emissions standards and the march of technology finally beginning to sneak up on its iconic 6 3/4 V8, Bentley has announced that it will cease production of this legendary engine, ending a long chapter in its history.

The 6 3/4, also known as the 6.75 liter, V8 was one of the oldest and longest running V8s in the company's history. Tracing its origins back to 1959, the engine first made its appearance as a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 that was designed to replace Bentley's straight six engine. Featuring a pair of carburetors, this beast saw duty in the Bentley S2, as well as its platform mate the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II; both brands were part of the British Leyland vehicle empire at the time. The engine received its first update in 1970 when Bentley increased the displacement to the current 6.75-liter rating, and gave it a turbocharger in 1983. Since those revisions, every other component has evolved over the past 57 years, and today the iconic 6 3/4 V8 is found under the hood of Bentley's range-topping flagship, the Mulsanne.

Base models receive the 505-horsepower unit which also boasts an impressive 752 lb-ft of torque, thanks to the help of two big turbochargers. However, the performance candle can also be turned up a notch with the Speed variant which increases performance to 530 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. While it is certainly possible to still refine the engine further with features such as direct injection, and even electrically driven turbochargers, according to the folks at Car & Driver, Bentley executives have decided to stop investing money in the aging engine, and, instead, focus on other alternatives. One of these is the next generation Mulsanne which will make the switch to formal 12-cylinder power. It will most likely be the same 6.0-liter W12 engine that also sees duty in the Bentayga SUV, but it will be interesting to see if Bentley manages to squeeze out a few extra ponies to help it stand out from its more utility-oriented brand mate.

At the same time, Bentley is also not in a hurry to retire the engine; the 6.75-liter V8 will stick around a while longer, until the current generation Mulsanne is updated for the 2017 model year.Car & Driver also stated that the purported replacement for the car is at least five years away from hitting production with the next-gen Mulsanne possibly being teased in concept form before it makes its formal production debut at a future auto show, possibly in Geneva.


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