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Performance

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Engine Technology

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. 

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Transmission

A key component of the new V8 powertrain is the new 8-speed transmission. Not only does it deliver faster, smoother gear changes, it also accounts for 6% of the total 40% efficiency gain achieved by the new V8. Having a greater number of ratios ensures that the engine is always working at its most efficient gearing, while drag torque losses have been minimised within the transmission. 

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All Wheel Drive

Every Bentley Continental features permanent all-wheel drive. Whether you're four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen targeting a new world ice speed record, or simply want to accelerate smartly away from the lights on a cold, wet winter's day, the reassuring grip and traction of all-wheel drive is the other essential ingredient in a Bentley's high performance capability. 

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Efficiency

Bentley’s V8 engine is astonishing, not just for what it does but also for the way it does it. The power and torque figures of 500 bhp and 660 Nm from 4 litres alone would indicate that the V8 is an advanced high performance engine. But take into consideration that the GT coupé’s CO2 emissions are a mere 246 g/km and it’s clear that this engine’s technology is world-leading. Even though the Bentley develops a full 500 bhp, its power to emissions ratio sets a new benchmark that will take most rivals years to equal.