Bentley already had expertise in variable displacement technology, where four of the eight cylinders are effectively switched off at gentle throttle openings. That technology now makes its appearance in the new direct injection V8.
When the engine's control microprocessor detects a light throttle opening, it closes the valves on four of the eight cylinders so that they only act as gas springs. This has two immediate benefits: the remaining four cylinders operate at a higher level of efficiency, and the engine's frictional and gas transfer losses are reduced.
As soon as the driver presses the throttle harder the engine instantly switches back to full eight-cylinder operation. Such is the refinement, speed and smoothness of the technology that the engine's effective displacement seamlessly switches from V8 to V4 and back again with imperceptible ease.