Bentley has introduced a petrol V8 option for its new Flying Spur saloon, following the launch of the top-rung W12 variant earlier this year.

As with the identically powered version of its Continental GT stablemate, the Flying Spur V8 packs 541bhp and 568lb ft courtesy of the new twin-turbocharged motor. Despite its increased size, the Flying Spur V8 matches the Continental’s 198mph top speed and takes just 0.1sec longer to hit 62mph from rest, at 4.1sec.

Bentley claims the V8-powered car offers a “more driver-centric experience” than the V12, highlighting its “more characterful engine note” and increased range between fuel stops.

It’s also said to feel more agile and responsive, tipping the scales at 100kg less than the V12. The V8 model retains dynamic-enhancing systems, such as adaptive air suspension and torque vectoring, as standard and optional extras include electric anti-roll technology and all-wheel steering.

CO2 emissions are down 17% over the W12 version. Bentley has yet to confirm official figures but we can expect the Flying Spur V8 to emit roughly 280g/km. The V8 is capable of 22mpg on the WLTP combined cycle, making it around 16% more efficient than the W12.

Four cylinders can be deactivated when cruising at below 3000rpm to reduce fuel consumption, with Bentley claiming that a deactivation time of around 20 milliseconds makes the switch “imperceptible” to drivers and passengers.

The interior is familiar from the existing car and can be specified in four- or five-seat formats.

Seven colours are available as standard and the car can also be specified with the ‘Blackline’ trim package, which swaps the chrome exterior trim for darker items. The only clues to its smaller engine are a new wheel design, V8 badges on the wings and a new quad-exit exhaust system.

The Flying Spur V8 is now available to order, with the first customer deliveries set to take place before 2021. Prices are unconfirmed, but expect the new addition to cost from around £160,000.

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