Most famous British V8

Bentley's V8 is 50 this year, making it the longest-lived engine in production today. It's arguably also the most famous British V8 - given the Rover V8 was a Buick design bought from GM.

A capacity increase in 1968 took the great eight to its current 6.75 litres, in which form it featured in everything from the 1968 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI and Silver Shadow, to today's Bentley Brooklands coupe, Arnage and Azure.

The Brooklands coupe gets 395kW and a huge 1050Nm of torque, which takes the luxury car from rest to 100km/h in just five seconds. John Lowe, from Britain's Institute of Mechanical Engineers, says: "Today's engine is true to the original design. However, it has achieved power and torque increases of over 150 per cent through the skilful introduction of fuel injection, turbocharging and intercooling technologies while remaining compliant with the latest emissions standards.

It is an extraordinary engineering story spanning five decades which deserves to be celebrated."

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