The End of an Era for Bentley's Great Eight
The iconic 6.75 litre, hand-manufactured Bentley V8 that is found in the Flying Spur’s larger sibling, the Mulsanne, has now ceased production. It’s spanned a 61-year lifetime and holds the title as being the longest serving V8 in continuous production history.
On its journey since it debuted in the Bentley S2 in 1959, (back then delivering a very modest 180bhp) 36,000 L-Series units have been produced and each one has been hand built at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe. It went on to evolve slightly throughout production and it wasn’t until 1971 that it received its larger 6 ¾ litre engine capacity which delivered stacks more torque, through the increase in stroke from 3.6 to 3.9 inches.
The biggest overall change to the set up throughout its life however was for the launch of the Mulsanne Turbo in 1982 which received a large single Garrett turbocharger and became the first forced-induction Bentley engine, since those that powered Tim Birkin’s Blower Bentleys of the 1920s. In its final guise the L-Series engine will spend its life powering the 30th and last, specially commissioned Mulsanne 6.75 Edition by Mulliner, with a staggering power output in excess of 530bhp.
The British luxury vehicle manufacturer has decided that the demand for two super saloons is not quite what it used to be and that the famous V8 has more than adequately “earned its retirement.” Bentley’s own Peter Bosch, revealed the new direction of focus for the manufacturer by stating that Bentley will “look forward to the future of Bentley, powered by the exceptional W12, sporting 4.0 litre V8 and and of course the efficient V6 Hybrid.” This is also backed up by the future development of the Flying Spur, which will become Bentley’s new flagship model and is due to receive a hybrid powertrain by 2023
Bentley is making a huge commitment to changing its ethos on the approach to sustainable, luxury motoring. They have already showed clear indication of this by their launch of the Bentayga Hybrid - the luxury SUV sector’s first, true plug-in hybrid and the most efficient Bentley ever.