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Click on the image above for a small high-res gallery of Bentley's V8 engine

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.


[Source: Bentley]

PRESS RELEASE:

'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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I had no idea...
      • 6 Years Ago
      When will you guys at autoblog come to realize that the small block Chevy's from the '50s died when the LS series replaced it?

      The LS motors are NOT the same as the LT motors and their predecessors, they share bore spacing and a few other small things but they are a complete clean sheet design. 6 bolt mains, different heads (port design and bolt down pattern), different firing order, different stroke and bore (smaller bore, longer stroke), hell even the displacement is different (LS1 is a 346 instead of a 350 ci). I'm sure there are other differences too.

      So if your talking about engines that are still in production today that started in the '50s, please leave the SBC out of the conversation please, it's not 1998 (the last time GM used the old small block in their vehicles) you know.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Right on most counts, but the GenI SBC kept on ticking through 2002 - the fullsize vans didn't get GenIII Vortecs until they were redesigned in 2003.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice work!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The old Bentley Straight 6 was an even better engine. 4.6L iron block with aluminum heads. It also had a 4 speed automatic transmission.

      We had a 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental, god that was a sweet car to drive. It would easily go 100mph and drive like a normal car doing 60. For hwo big the car was it was actually pretty sporty with 0-60 times around 12 seconds.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A venerable engine, to say the least. Also, PUSHRODS AREN'T OLDER THAN OVERHEAD CAMS!
      • 6 Years Ago
      When they saying using the same engine, is it only the same engine block, but different heads, pistons, exhaust manifold, etc?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The one today, I suppose, is dramatically different to the one 50 years ago, but how I understand this, they only tweaked with the engine from generation to generation, never starting with a clean slate and designing a brand new engine. Evolution, not revolution, still gets enough revolutions per min, though, and enough torque to affect the earth rotation.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Amazing engine. Just last week I got to drive an older Arnage T and was so impressed with the sheer grunt of the big, heavy thing that I immediately started scouring the internet to see how much they cost... and I was surprised to see BMW engined Green Label models (didn't want those) with relatively low miles for under $50k, and a few newer twin turbo'd R models for a couple thousand more (The Arnage Ts are a few grand more still, & I wasn't interested in the old single turbo Red Label models... I've heard they're not so reliable). Prior to driving it I had planned on getting an old Jag XJR but now I definitely want an Arnage instead. I just need to win the lottery or something... the Jag is dirt cheap in comparison.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This and the small block are living proof that overhead cams are not superior to pushrods. They're just a different way of doing it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hmm, is from C&G is this?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Indeed Mr. fan of the dodges ;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Till this day it's still a power horse
      • 6 Years Ago
      That also happens to be one of the best looking engines bays I've ever seen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whats wrong with 6.7?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Because 6 3/4 liters is 6.8 if you are only using one decimal place. ;)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Because this engine was made back in the day when fuel economy was measured in leagues per cubic yard and the quality of the cars interior could be described in terms of dead animals per square foot
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