Following the path forged by Bentayga SUV and Continental coupe and convertible, Bentley is supplementing its W12 powered Flying Spur with a V8. In fact, it is doing so with the same V8 as the others. It’s a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter eight-cylinder peaking at 542 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. And that torque is available between 2,000 – 4,500 rpm.
The penalty paid for switching letters from a W to a V is, of course, power. The W12 outputs an additional 84 horsepower and 96 lb-ft of torque. And the V8 means slower acceleration and top speed. Do you, a Bentley owner in a hurry, have the time to take a full 4.0-seconds to reach 60 mph, instead of just 3.7? Can you space out your in-person meetings such that you can only reach 198 mph on the road, instead of 207?
But perhaps we have it all wrong and you want to go slower and save fuel. Well, in that case, the V8 is a benefit, improving fuel consumption up to 16 percent depending on how you drive. Fuel economy numbers are not yet released, but the W12 manages 12 mpg in the city, 19 on the highway, 15 combined, adding 16 percent to each gives you 14/22/17 city/highway/combined, respectfully. If it lands there, you’d rid yourself of the Gas Guzzler tax at least.
Part of that comes from losing 4 cylinders and dropping 2.0-liters worth of displacement, certainly. But the V8 also has a cylinder deactivation system operating whenever it is under light loads and spinning below 3,000 rpm. When that happens, only four of the eight pistons do the work. And it only takes 20 milliseconds to switch between modes.
But for the proper car enthusiasts among us, there’s yet another reason to chose the V8 over the W12 and that’s weight. The smaller engine takes a full 220 pounds out of the car, weight almost entirely on the front axle. No, it won’t turn your nearly 19 foot long sedan into a supercar, but it’s certainly going to take it in the right direction. And who wouldn’t want a crisper front end?
Bentley has not yet revealed price, but expect it to sneak under $200k. Base price for a W12 powered Spur is $219,425. And you still have access to all the usual array of leathers and wood veneers and special paints and all the other mega fancy things. There’s also similar optional tech like adaptive anti-roll bars and rear-axe steering. No matter what you chose, you’re already rolling on an adjustable air suspension.
Than again, saying your car has horsepower that starts with a six is nice. And 12 cylinders, regardless of configuration is buttery smooth. You could makes arguments for both is my point.
Bentley is known for providing a huge variety of options to its opulent customers. And now for the Flying Spur that includes powertrain.
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