Bentley's long-running bent-eight is celebrating its 60th birthday, having grown from 6.2- to 6.75-litres throughout its life.
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The motoring world isn't kind to old technology. The average model cycle is eight years, with a styling change halfway through to keep things fresh – if you're really good at facelifts, maybe a model can be stretched to 12 or 13 years.

Bentley doesn't really work on the same timelines as the rest of the motoring industry, though. Forget 12 years, the V8 engine in the current Mulsanne has just turned 60.

Debuted in the 1959 Bentley S2 as a replacement for the brand's long-serving straight-six engine, the bent-eight has powered 23 models throughout its life. It started as a 6.2-litre unit, before growing to the current 6.75-litre displacement in 1971.

The motor has been redesigned to fit into smaller engine bays, reworked for emissions regulations and, with the launch of the 1985 Mulsanne Turbo, treated to forced-induction.

After starting as a single-turbo engine, the V8 gained a second turbocharger. It's also been treated to modern technology, such as cylinder deactivation, to keep it in line with modern emissions rules – but Bentley maintains the modern twin-turbo iteration still has its roots in the 1959 original.

"The original V8 was designed to deliver a step-change in performance, along with smoothness, reliability and refinement," said Dr Werner Tietz, member of the board for engineering at Bentley.

"The engine was tested over hundreds of thousands of miles in the toughest conditions, as well as at full throttle for 500 hours. The success of Bentley’s acclaimed 6¾-litre V8 today in the Mulsanne owes much to that ethos."

It's currently fitted to the Mulsanne and Mulsanne Speed, where it outputs 395kW and 1100Nm.