The Bentley Mulsanne's V8 engine might be based on a design which has served the Crewe company since the 1950s, but in its latest guise it bristles with modern technology.

bentleyv8productionBentley says that all the major building blocks of the Mulsanne’s engine are new – which means new pistons, connecting rods and a forged crankshaft which reduces reciprocating mass and internal friction for improved response. The new engine – which is hand-built at Bentley's Crewe factory (right) – has more than 300 new or significantly re-engineered components.

In addition the new engine has variable cam phasing, to improve engine breathing, and a system to deactivate up to four of the eight cylinders at low loads for improved fuel consumption. Bentley says the new engine delivers a 15 per cent improvement in fuel consumption and emissions performance – but with no loss of power.

The new V8 produces 505bhp and no less than 752lb ft of torque (1050Nm) delivered at just 1750rpm, which should give the Mulsanne even more of the effortless performance for which Bentleys are famed.

The reworked V8 engine is coupled to a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.