A POWERFUL engine first used six decades ago finally bows out powering a special edition Bentley Mulsanne, which also dies after 30 have been built.
The 6.75-litre V8 petrol engine under the Mulsanne's bonnet first appeared in a Bentley in 1959 and, with several redesigns along the way continues until the 30 6.75 Edition by Mulliner cars are signed off.
It means Bentley's flagship model will be the Flying Spur, which uses a 6.0 litre 12-cylinder engine and which will be available with a hybrid petrol/electric powertrain by 2030.
The final phase Mulsanne celebrates one of the most iconic cars in Bentley's history, and will be based on the existing 530bhp, 190mph Mulsanne Speed - described by its maker as "the most driver-focused ultra-luxury sedan ever created".
Subtle references to the 6.75-litre V8 are evident across the car. The interior ‘organ stop' ventilation controls are replaced by designs capped by miniature versions of the engine oil cap and a unique 6.75 Edition motif is stitched into the seats.
The same motif is recreated in chrome badging for the exterior and the engine bay. The same logo will be projected by the LED welcome lamps that shine on the ground by the doors, while the faces of the clock and minor gauges will feature schematic cutaway drawings of the engine itself.
To the exterior of the car, gloss black brightware will accentuate the individual customer's choice of paintwork, but with headlamps and tail lamps wrapped in bright chrome.
Dark tint treatment to the Flying B bonnet mascot and 21ins five-spoke Mulsanne Speed wheels with a unique bright-machined finish with gloss black pockets are other exterior treatments.
Under the bonnet, the engine intake manifold will be finished in black in lieu of the traditional silver, and the engine number plaque - traditionally signed by the craftsman that built the engine - will be signed by Bentley's chairman and chief executive, Adrian Hallmark.
Inside the cabin is a choice of four single tone hides - Imperial Blue, Beluga, Fireglow and Newmarket Tan - a bespoke colour split then adds accents in Silver across the cabin through seat piping, accent hide around the centre console, deep pile overmat bindings, and the accent colour showing through the perforated hide to the seats and door inserts.
No price is quoted for the special edition. The Mulsanne Speed costs £257,100 and the newcomer is likely to cost rather a lot more.