5 biggest engines on South Africa’s new car market

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BMW M760Li xDrive
The dual-turbo V12 powering the BMW M760Li xDrive.

Remember the old saying “there’s no replacement for displacement”? Well, it seems a few automakers still subscribe to this notion, despite the spread of engine downsizing into the vast majority of segments.

So, we decided to have a sniff around South Africa’s new vehicle market to identify the five biggest engines (in terms of cubic capacity) currently available, and take a quick look at the vehicles they power.

Needless to say, they’re not cheap…

1. Bentley’s 6 752 cm3 V8


The biggest engine currently on offer in SA is this 6,8-litre V8, which has been turbocharged to produce 395 kW and a whopping 1 100 N.m in the Bentley Mulsanne Speed (and a smidgen less in the standard Mulsanne). Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, it gulps at a claimed 15,0 L/100 km and propels the hefty sedan from standstill to 100 km/h in 4,9 seconds.

2. BMW Group’s 6 592 cm3 V12


This hefty turbocharged V12 displaces 6,6 litres, and is fitted to the Rolls-Royce Dawn (420 kW/820 N.m), Ghost (420 kW/780 N.m) and Wraith (465 kW/800 N.m) as well as the new BMW M760Li xDrive (448 kW/800 N.m). The fastest accelerating of the lot is the 7 Series, which hits three figures in just 3,7 seconds.

3. Lamborghini’s 6 498 cm3 V12


The Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is powered by this naturally aspirated 6,5-litre V12, which sends some 515 kW and 690 N.m to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. It’s easily the fastest vehicle on this list, rocketing from 0-100 km/h in just 2,9 seconds (the roadster is one-tenth tardier) and topping out at 350 km/h.

4. Jeep’s 6 417 cm3 V8

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
The cheapest vehicle here is the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, which boasts a naturally aspirated 6,4-litre V8. Maximum power is a quoted 344 kW, while peak torque comes in at 624 N.m, which Jeep says is enough for a 5,0-second blast to 100 km/h.

5. Audi’s 6 299 cm3 W12

Audi A8 L W12
The only W12 one this list comes in the form of the free-breathing 6,3-litre that provides significant shove to the Audi A8 L 6,3 W12 quattro. Worth 368 kW and 625 N.m, the big 12-cylinder mill is linked to all four corners via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, facilitating a claimed 4,6-second dash to three figures.

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