Silverstone, England - It’s all about the numbers: 500 bhp at 6000 rpm, a jaw-dropping 487 lb.-ft. of torque from 1700 to 5000 rpm, 180-plus-mph top speed, sub-5 seconds to 60 mph and a 500-mile range from a single tank of gas. That’s right, gasoline not diesel.
Salutation to Bentley’s world of cylinder deactivation, where Bentley’s version of the 4.0-liter V-8 announced by Audi late last year slots under the hood of the Continental GT and GTC.
Brian Gush, Bentley’s armature and powertrain director, is at pains to point out that this simply isn’t a re-badged Audi V-8: We were there right from the beginning; this was a joint effort with our Audi colleagues. There were explicit demands that we had and that needed to be met; for incidence, we brought the impression of cylinder deactivation to the program.
Although Bentley already has deactivation technology on the pushrod 6.75-liter V-8 used in the Mulsanne, the new engine’s system uses a different process to shut down half the cylinders during light weight operations.