The 6.75-liter will be no more, but its sacrifice will pave the way for a new 12-cylinder engine

It seems hard to believe, but Bentley’s famed 6.75-liter V-8 engine has been around for 57 years. Over the years, the engine has been upgraded to comply with ever-increasing emissions and fuel economy standards that brought the aging power plant into the world of fuel injection, camshaft phasing, and stronger internal components. The engine hasn’t exactly exceeded its life expectancy yet, as Bentley could bring things like direct fuel injection of cam-in-cam technology, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.

Despite the fact that Bentley could continue to upgrade and morph the 6.75-liter to continue complying with current standards, Car and Driver reports that Bentley has chosen not to continue dumping money into the constantly aging engine. Apparently, Wolfgang Durheimer – the CEO of Bentley – said that the V-8 has found its “final home” and indicated that Bentley’s next flagship model will be powered by a 12-cylinder engine.

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering that BMW tried to kill off the L-Series engine in the late 90s when it introduced the 4.4-liter V-8. Of course, shortly after that Volkswagen took over and reintroduced the L-Series engine. Since then, the engine has been continuously upgraded, but as it goes in life – all good things eventually come to an end. Keep in mind that the 6.75-liter will still be around for at least a few years. Durheimer didn’t supply any timetable as to when it will unleash what is sure to be a beast of a 12-cylinder, and the Mulsanne was just updated for 2017, so Bentley has some time to develop its big power plant.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

This isn’t surprising to me at all. At this point, spending more money and man hours to continuously upgrade an engine that is approaching six decades in age. With this new news in the spotlight, now I’m thinking about that next powertrain. Since Bentley will be jumping up to a 12-cylinder engine, will we see more than the 530 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque we see in the Mulsanne Speed? At this point, your guess is as good as ours, but Bentley has plenty of time to develop something amazing.

On top of that, who wouldn’t want to own a 700 horsepower, V-12 powered, ultra-luxurious, Bentley? I for one would love to see a big increase in power from the next flagship, so hopefully Bentley will get the hint. As they say, death spawns new life, and a new powertrain just might be what Bentley needs to take things to the next level.

2017 Bentley Mulsanne

2017 Bentley Mulsanne High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Bentley Mulsanne here.

Source: CarAndDriver

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