Bentley has just finished its very last 6.75-liter V8. While engines come and go, this is significant because Bentley has been building this engine, known as the L-series, for 61 years. This final engine will go in the 30th and last Bentley Mulsanne, a 6.75 Edition by Mulliner, marking the end of the flagship sedan.
The L-series engine was first introduced in 1959, and according to Bentley, it was developed in order to develop more power than its existing inline-six without adding weight or taking up more space. The engine in fact weighed 30 pounds less than the six-cylinder, and it made about 180 horsepower. That original engine "only" had 6.2-liters of displacement, and it wasn't until 1971 that it would reach 6.75 liters thanks to increased stroke. This final version of the engine is significantly different from its fuel injection to its twin-turbochargers, but is based on the same design. And with 530 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque, it's the most powerful iteration of the engine.
At 61 years, the Bentley engine is arguably the V8 with the longest production run. While the first-generation Chevy small block V8 was introduced earlier for the 1955 model year and is still built in crate engine form, GM stopped using it in production cars in 2002. Far fewer Bentley engines were built, though, with a total over 36,000, as opposed to the millions of Chevy small blocks in the world. Of course, volume is sort of the antithesis of what makes a Bentley a Bentley.