End of the road for Bentley Great Eight

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Bentley’s final 6¾-liter V8 has been produced in Crewe, UK, ending a manufacturing run of over 60 years.

The final unit is powering the 30th and final specially commissioned Mulsanne 6.75 Edition by Mulliner.

Making its debut in 1959, the L-Series V8 had 180bhp when it powered the Bentley S2, a figure that was deemed “adequate” at the time.

Since then, it has been turbocharged and benefited from electronic control systems, fuel injection and variable valve timing.

Power is now over 500bhp and it produces 99% fewer harmful emissions than the original.

All 36,000 L-Series engines have been hand built in Crewe, and modern units take 15 hours to build.

With the passing of the engine, the Flying Spur will become Bentley’s flagship model and will receive a hybrid powertrain by 2023.

Upgrades over the year have included increasing the stroke from 3.6in to 3.9in in 1971 and fitting a turbo in 1981.

For the 2010 Mulsanne, the V8 was overhauled with a new crankshaft, pistons, connecting rods and cylinder heads with variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation.

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