Skip to main content

V8 PHEV is Bentley's New Flagship Powertrain; Regular V8 All But Disappears from Lineup

V8 PHEV will be the most potent Bentley powertrain ever

Bentley High-Performance V8 PHEV powertrain
  • Bentley will soon replace its flagship twin-turbocharged W12 engine with a new range-topping plug-in hybrid V8.
  • The Ultra Performance Hybrid makes more than 740 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque.
  • More details will be announced over the next few weeks.

Bentley is ending production of its legendary twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine this summer, and the automaker is already lining up its replacement. The new powertrain, a plug-in hybrid V8, will evolve from the company’s existing hybrid technology and will be “the most dynamic, most responsive and most efficient system in Bentley’s history," according to the ultra-luxury automaker. And it’ll make a ton of power when it arrives in the lineup.

The new powertrain will be dubbed “Ultra Performance Hybrid,” and this new plug-in hybrid V8 will produce more than 740 horsepower, an increase of at least 90 ponies over the Continental GT Speed's 650 hp. A final torque number hasn’t been announced yet, but Bentley says it’ll be in the four-digit range, measured in Newton-meters, so figure more than 738 lb-ft in American torques. The instant thrust provided by the electric motor should help Bentley’s flagship models rip to 60 mph quicker than the 3.4-second sprint we recorded in the W12-powered Continental GT Speed at our latest U-Drag race against the BMW M8 Competition. Bentley also says that the new PHEV will travel up to 50 miles on the battery alone, but that’s based on Europe's generous WLTP testing cycle. Expect the EPA’s rating to be slightly lower.

Bentley has been using plug-in hybrid powertrains in the Bentayga SUV and Flying Spur sedan for a half-decade now, and there is increasing competition from Mercedes-AMG, BMW and Porsche. The Bentayga's hybrid model utilizes a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, while the Flying Spur hybrid is motivated by a turbo 2.9-liter engine. Both powertrains are supplemented by a permanent magnet electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission, feeding off an 18.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. These PHEVs will be even more important going forward, as Bentley is also discontinuing the non-hybrid V8 in the Flying Spur and Continental GT coupe and convertible, making the Bentley cars plug-in only. The Bentayga will continue to offer the regular V8 and both PHEV powertrains.

Bentley aims to have an all-electric lineup by 2030, and four years before that, the company says that all models will be either plug-in hybrids or all-electric. The new hybrid V8 will be the brand’s flagship powertrain and will likely be offered on all models in the range.

Edmunds says

We’ll miss the big, hand-built 6.0-liter W12 currently available on all three Bentley models, but we can’t wait to strap our test gear to this new hybrid V8 and see how it performs.