A legendary engine finally meets its end.
It's been known for a while now that the 2020 Bentley Mulsanne would be discontinued, effectively ending the 61-year life of the legendary L-Series V8 engine. The Covid-19 outbreak delayed the Mulsanne's death a bit longer but Bentley has just announced that the final 6.75-liter V8 has just finished being hand-assembled at the company's Crewe factory. The last L-Series engine will be installed in thirtieth and final Mulsanne 6.75 Edition by Mulliner, a special edition model meant to close out Mulsanne production.
Over the past 61 years, Bentley has built 36,000 examples of the L-Series V8, making it the longest-running V8 in continuous production. Since being introduced in 1959, the L-Series V8 has been used in 23 different Bentley models culminating in the flagship Mulsanne.
When the L-Series was brand-new under the hood of the 1959 Bentley S2, it produced just 180 horsepower. This was considered "adequate" at the time and more than a suitable replacement for Bentley's outgoing straight-six. Through modern innovations such as turbocharging, electronic control systems, fuel injection, and variable valve timing, the 6.75-liter V8 produced as much as 530 hp in the Mulsanne Speed with a whopping 811 lb-ft of torque.
"Our venerable 6.75-liter V8 has powered the flagship Bentley for more than six decades, and so has earned its retirement. I am extremely proud of the generations of skilled craftspeople that have meticulously assembled every one of these engines by hand over the years," said Bentley's Member of the Board for Manufacturing, Peter Bosch. "That this engine stood the test of time for so long is testament to the ingenious engineers who kept making the engine ever more powerful, refined and reliable. Now, we look forward to the future of Bentley, powered by our exceptional W12, sporting 4.0-liter V8, and of course our efficient V6 Hybrid - the start of our journey to electrification."
The final L-Series still needs to be dropped into the final 6.75 Edition, at which point the Flying Spur will officially take over as Bentley's flagship model. The Flying Spur will receive a hybrid powertrain by 2023, symbolizing the company's commitment towards more sustainable luxury.