As rumoured for some time, Bentley has finally confirmed a brand new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine for its Continental GT and GTC models.
Set to debut at next month's Detroit motor show, the new V8 delivers 500bhp and 487 torques said to be accessible "across virtually the entire rev range" from 1,700rpm to 5,000rpm. Bentley reckons this new V8 fitted in the GT - together with the eight-speed auto - is good for a sub-five second 0-60mph run and a top speed of over 180mph.
At this point, you might be wondering why Bentley has fitted such a tiny engine in something that demands six litres or above. Well, some time ago, Bentley made an environmental commitment to deliver a new engine that would increase fuel efficiency and cut CO2 emissions. With this in mind, the new V8 is claimed to travel over 500 miles on a single tank of fuel. Presumably on a very straight, downhill road on partial throttle...
Full economy figures will be released next month, but Bentley tells us the 4.0-litre gets a high-tech engine management system, switching to just four cylinders under lighter loads, as well as high pressure direct injection, low friction bearings, energy recuperation via a charging system and clever packaging of the turbo.
Oh, and it also gets an instantly recognisable ‘growl', which you can listen to below.
Visual monikers for the V8 models include red enamel ‘B' badges, 20in alloys, a black gloss matrix grille and chromed ‘figure-eight' exhaust tailpipes.
Bentley chief Wolfgang Dürheimer said: "The new engine will have all the exhilarating power, drama and performance you would expect from a V8 engine sporting the famous Bentley wings, effortlessly delivered with our characteristic ‘wave of torque'."
We'll be driving this early next year, so check back for our full verdict. For now, your immediate, instantaneous reaction to this news...