Bentley Brooklands: The World's Most Exclusive Coupe | Part Three

Bentley Brooklands

Bentley Brooklands

Most powerful Crewe-built V8 ever - 530bhp, 1050Nm

Beneath its muscular, rakish, coach-built body lies the most powerful Crewe-builtV8 engine ever produced, developing 530bhp. Maximum torque is an astonishing 1050Nm, the highest ever developed by a production V8 engine. Although performance figures are subject to final confirmation as part of the on-going development programme, the new Bentley coupe will deliver supercar levels of in-gear acceleration combined with Arnage refinement.

At the beginning of the project, Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board, Engineering, tasked his power train specialists to deliver an extraordinary driving experience in the Bentley coupe tradition: “Exhilarating, effortless, accessible performance for those truly passionate about their driving was our prime objective.”

Launched in the Bentley S2 saloon in 1959 with a capacity of 6.23 litres, the legendary, Crewe-built V8 engine has continually evolved. The first V8 was very advanced for its time with an all-aluminium construction, a five-bearing crankshaft and a well-supported camshaft, producing nearly 200bhp and 400Nm of torque. The result was a light and supple powertrain that produced maximum torque at low engine speeds, the hallmark of every Bentley ever produced.

1969 saw the capacity grow to 6.75 litres, where it remains to this day, but by far the most significant change came in 1982, with the introduction of a turbocharger to create the near-300bhp Mulsanne Turbo, a car that transformed the image of Bentley. In 1999, the single turbo engine, by now featuring port injection and charge cooling, was installed in Arnage, with twin turbos arriving in 2002, developing up to 450bhp.

For the 2007 model Arnage, the V8 engine saw a step-change in performance and refinement which became the starting point for the new Bentley Brooklands. A re-profiled camshaft and new, low-inertia turbochargers, which operate with greater efficiency at lower engine speeds have resulted in reduced turbo lag, enhancing that prodigious wave of torque at any revs, the hallmark of a true Bentley. These changes extend the power potential of the V8 in the Arnage to 500bhp and 1000Nm of torque. For the Bentley Brooklands, further component optimisation and engine calibration ensure record power and torque levels from this hand-assembled engine.

As with the latest Arnage, the V8 engine is mated to a six-speed transmission with strengthened casing that transforms the way in which both parts of the drive train communicate. A sophisticated, locking torque converter and ESP system ensure that the driver can readily access the prodigious power. A semi-automatic function allows manual gear selection for even greater driver control.

Published 6 March 2007 Melanie Carter

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