Bentley will unveil a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 at the Detroit motor show, and will be made available in entry-level versions of the Continental GT and GTC. The new power unit, which is both cleaner and more economical than the current W12, will be identified by their black radiator grille – a necessary differentiation, as the older W12 remains very much in production.
The new V8 develops 500bhp and 487lb ft, and runs in four-cylinder mode on a light or trailing throttle. It's a development of the Audi V8 as founf in the S6, S7 and S8 models, but is promised to sound and feel like a true Bentley. Drive is via a new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, and performance is still as towering as ever, with a top speed of 180mph and 0-60mph in under five seconds.
No fuel consumption or emissions figures have been released yet, but we'll have them on 9 January 2012, along with our first drive.