We have no idea if it’s the need for downsizing to lower emissions across the range or Bentley indeed faced a lot of requests for the V8 powertrain to reappear in the new generation Flying Spur, but the company has anyways made it available to the “world’s best luxury four door grand tourer.” Their words, not ours – because there’s always the problem of the Flying B fighting for supremacy with the other British House of Luxury.
This time around we are not just dealing with an innovative trim or a new specification designed to enhance visual appeal, because the sedan has received a second powertrain. It’s the base V8 configuration, returning for another stint with its 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged, engine good for 404kW (542 hp) and 770 Nm (568 lb. ft.) of torque.
Yes, it’s true that future owners going for this engine will be giving up on four cylinders and the W12’s meaty 473kW (635 hp) and 900 Nm (664 lb. ft.) of torque that enabled a 100km/h (62 mph) sprint in 3.7 seconds on its way to a maximum speed of 333 km/h (207 mph). But Bentley says it’s all for the sake of agility, as customer research has uncovered a refocus towards more owner driving, and less chauffeur backseat dwelling. The V8 Bentley is 100 kg (220 pounds) lighter than the W12. with a top speed of 318 kph (198 mph).
Pricing details have not been released, though Bentley did announce that order books have been opened – first deliveries are scheduled for the home market and the European region before the year’s end, while other countries will follow soon beginning with 2021.
Just like a bickering old couple, Bentley and Rolls-Royce have a habit of trading subtle, elegant, timeless blows and the fight is not about to end anytime soon.