BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear

Bentley has built its last 6¾-litre V8 engine

The L-Series has been in production in various forms since 1959

Published: 02 Jun 2020

We’ve talked a lot about the 6¾-litre Rolls-Royce-Bentley V8 engine on these pages of late – principally because the recently-announced 6.75 Edition will spell the end for both the iconic power unit and the wonderful Bentley Mulsanne.

And now, the time has come. What you see above is the very last example of the L-Series V8 – an engine that has been in continuous production for more than 60 years.

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Seven Bentley engineers took 15 hours to assemble the final 530bhp, 811lb ft V8 for the 30th and final Mulsanne 6.75 Edition on Monday, bringing an end to a production run of over 36,000 engines.

“That this engine stood the test of time for so long is testament to the ingenious engineers who kept making the engine ever more powerful, refined and reliable,” said Bentley’s Member of the Board for Manufacturing, Peter Bosch.

“Now, we look forward to the future of Bentley, powered by our exceptional W12, sporting 4.0-litre V8 and of course our efficient V6 Hybrid - the start of our journey to electrification.”

The L-Series was originally designed by a team of Rolls-Royce-Bentley engineers in the mid-1950s, and it was first deployed in 6.2-litre form in the Bentley S2 in 1959, where it produced around 180bhp.

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With continual development including single and twin-turbocharging, electronic control systems, fuel injection and variable valve timing being introduced over the years, different generations of engineers managed to simultaneously increase the engine’s power and decrease its emissions. In fact, Bentley says the current and final generation produces 99 per cent fewer harmful emissions that the original L-Series.

What a thing. The world will be a slightly poorer place without the 6¾-litre icon.

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