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Jaguar Mk V & Bentley Mk VI Compared

 Jaguar MkV 3 litre  Bentley MkVI 4 & 4 litre

A similar comparison between the Jaguar Mk V and the Bentley Mk VI still retains the 3 to 1 price advantage of the Jaguar although the Bentley after moving to the big bore 4 litre engine in 1951 has a distinct performance advantage. The data for all three cars is derived from The Autocar road tests but it is worth noting the test dates and compression ratios on account of post war fuel quality. The pre war Jaguars had a compression ratio of 7.5 or 7.6:1.

 Bentley MkVI 4 litre  Jaguar MkV 3 litre Bentley MkVI 4 litre
Price 4038 1263 4473
Length 16' 0" 15' 7" 16' 0"
Width 5' 9" 5' 8" 5' 10"
Weight 35 cwt 33 cwt 36 cwt
Max Speed 92.5 mph 91 mph 100 mph
0 -60 mph 17.5 sec 18.9 sec 15.2 sec
0 -50 mph 12.5 sec 13.5 sec 10.2 sec
0-30 mph 5.4 sec 6.3 sec 4.5 sec
30-50 in top 9.4 sec 9.4 sec 8.0 sec
30-50 in third 7.4 sec 7.5 sec 6.3 sec
mph/1000rpm 22.10 mph 19.04 mph 22.10 mph
Test mpg 17 mpg 18.2 mpg 16 mpg
Test Date 24th October 1947 1st October 1948 7th December 1951
Compression Ratio 6.4:1 6.75:1 6.4:1
 Jaguar MkV 3 litre Interior  Bentley MkVI 4 & 4 litre Interior










































Bentley & Jaguar Power

Whilst the Bentley 4 and 4 litre appear to give more impressive performance than the Jaguars it's worth looking a little deeper at the relative performances. Especially the weaknesses of the engines that potentially limit their longevity. All engines suffer problems as they age but some give rise to more catastrophic and expensive failures than others.

Jaguar 2 litre:

This engine is a relatively conventional overhead valve design with 3 rows of studs holding a cast iron cylinder head onto a cast iron block with water passages between each of its 6 cylinders. A submerged oil pump feeds crankshaft, camshaft and overhead valve gear with fully filtered oil. The only significant weakness comes in the risk of rod breakage in engines fitted with Dural connecting rods. For engines not originally fitted with steel rods modern replacements are available.

Jaguar 3 litre:

This engine is very similar to the 2 litre from which it was derived but it has a greater tendency to overheating due to reduced water jacketing without circulation around cylinders 2 and 5 and a greater tendency to head gasketing problems due to smaller head area with 2 rows of studs.

Bentley 4 litre:

This engine has overhead inlet and side exhaust structure with an aluminium cylinder head held to a cast iron block with 3 rows of studs. Like the Jaguar 3 litre there is no water circulation around cylinders 2 and 5. A number of design elements can cause problems. Bypass oil filtering and unfiltered rocker feed can limit bearing life and the unusual use of chrome cylinder liners that only extend part the way down the cylinders tends to cause a step at the transition resulting in havoc with the rings but the most serious weakness is probably due to the design of the water circulation within the block. This tends to cause localised overheating problems at the exhaust valves and can lead to cracks between the exhaust valve seats and the cylinders.

Bentley 4 litre:

This engine is very similar to the 4 litre but doesn't suffer from the smaller engine's bypass oil filtering, however the larger bores only serve to accentuate the cylinder and overheating issues.