Bad news is no less galling for being inevitable. We knew the Bentley 6.75-litre V8 couldn't last into the 2020s, that much was officially confirmed by the Mulsanne special edition announced earlier this year. Truthfully, though, the writing has been on the wall for more years than we'd care to admit: an engine of nearly 7,000 cubic centimetres, bolstered by two turbochargers and pumping noxious gas out like there's no tomorrow is, sadly, unsustainable.
But, good grief, we're going to miss the old battle axe. No other powerplant did effortless, endless power and torque quite like the Bentley 6.75, even with the progress of downsized engines. Its layout, with pushrods and a single cam, means it couldn't rev, but that was no barrier to crushing motive force. In a Mulsanne Speed, 530hp was produced at 4,200rpm, and 811lb ft was made at 1,750rpm; it wasn't so much engine as regional power station, one to love with all your heart.
And that's what will be fondly remembered about the Bentley L Series - the ability to deliver monumental, bottomless performance with seemingly insouciant levels of effort. To some extent, electricity will be able to replicate that attribute, but we all know it won't be quite the same. The least such a legendary powerplant deserved was a wallpaper, in this case a picture from Bentley's 60-year celebration of the V8 last year, with S2 alongside Mulsanne bookending the history of a remarkable engine. All of which means the 6.75 is, at last, gone - but it's certainly never, ever going to be forgotten.