When the conversation turns to classic V8 engines from a bygone era, the discussion often starts and ends with the small block Chevy that was introduced way back in 1955 and continues to terrorize the overhead-cam masses from Ford all the way to Ferrari. Bentley would like to remind you that it, too, has an iconic engine born back in the '50s that still deserves to be feted, and it still has pushrods. And celebrated it shall be at the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation lecture on January 22nd. This year will mark the 6¾-liter Bentley V8 engine's 50th anniversary, with the motor having seen its first installation in the 1959 Bentley S2. The mill was enlarged back in 1968 to its current displacement and has seen the addition of turbochargers and intercoolers on the way to its current position under the hoods of the 530-horsepower Bentley Brooklands coupe, Arnage and Azure convertible models for 2009. Congrats on the achievement, Bentley Boys.
'50 YEARS OF THE BENTLEY V8 ENGINE'
DR. ULRICH EICHHORN TO DELIVER SIR HENRY ROYCE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION LECTURE
(Crewe, 20 January 2009). Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board for Engineering at Bentley Motors, will chart the progress of one of the world's most remarkable and enduring automotive engines at the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation lecture on January 22nd.
Fifty years after its introduction in the iconic Bentley S2 Continental, Bentley's V8 engine continues to power the company's powerful, flagship luxury motor cars including the 530bhp Bentley Brooklands coupe, the Arnage and Azure convertible models in 2009.
"The Bentley V8 is a prime example of how a well executed original design has endured and evolved under the right guardianship. We look forward to hearing Ulrich's views on how an engine first built in 1959 has been improved by generations of Bentley engineers," comments John Lowe from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a trustee of the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation.
"Today's engine is true to the original design. However, it has achieved power and torque increases of over 150 per cent through the skilful introduction of fuel injection, turbocharging and intercooling technologies whilst remaining compliant with the latest emissions standards. It is an extraordinary engineering story spanning five decades which deserves to be celebrated."
As engineering director Dr. Eichhorn has overseen the development of the potential of the Bentley V8 and this includes the introduction of the engine in its most potent form in the Bentley Brooklands coupe. Hand-built at the company's Crewe headquarters, the 6¾ litre Bentley V8 engine powering the Bentley Brooklands generates 1050 Nm/774 lb.ft of torque at 3250rpm and is capable of offering a top speed of 184mph as well as a 0-60mph sprint time of just 5 seconds.
Since joining Bentley Motors in 2003, Dr. Eichhorn has also overseen the introduction of the 6 litre W12 engine in the company's Continental range. Earlier this month, Bentley Motors launched the Continental GTC Speed, the world's fastest four-seat convertible, at the Detroit Motor Show.
The 2009 Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation Lecture is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMecheE), which has over 80,000 members and a 160-year heritage, the lecture will be held at 1 Birdcage Walk, Westminster (Thursday, 22nd January).
Full details of Dr. Eichhorn's lecture will also be available at www.imeche.org/playback.