Bentley to end W12

engine production

Bentley Batur, 2023, front
Bentley Continental GT, 2023, side
Bentley W12 engine, 2023

BENTLEY will cease production of its 12-cylinder petrol engine in April 2024, by which time more than 100,000 examples of the iconic W12 will have been handcrafted in the company's factory in Crewe.

The decision comes as part of Bentley's acceleration towards a sustainable future through its Beyond100 strategy which will see the company's entire model line fully electrified by the start of the next decade.

When production of the W12 ceases next year, Bentley's entire model line will be available with the option of a hybrid powertrain.

It also means an engine first made available in the Continental GT, which has been used by Bentley for the past 20 years, will be consigned to history.

However, Bentley isn't letting the W12 bow out without a dramatic send-off. Development work has finished recently on the most powerful version of the W12 ever created.

The ultimate iteration of this mighty engine - destined for just 18 examples of the Bentley Batur to be handcrafted by Mulliner - is now confirmed as developing 750ps and 1,000 Nm of torque.

Bentley's chairman and chief executive, Adrian Hallmark, said: "When we first launched the W12 back in 2003, we knew we had a mighty engine that would propel both our cars and the brand forwards at speed. 20 years and more than 100,000 W12s later, the time has come to retire this now-iconic powertrain as we take strides towards electrification - but not without giving it the best send-off possible, with the most powerful version of the engine ever created."

Bentley's aim is to retrain and redeploy all 30 of the skilled craftspeople that hand-assemble and test every single W12 engine at Bentley's carbon-neutral factory in Crewe.

The W12 engine production facility will make way for an expanded line for the completion of other Bentley engines used for the plug-in hybrid models.

The latest generation of W12 was launched in the Bentayga in 2015 and the unique W-configuration means that the 6.0-litre engine is 24 per cent shorter than an equivalent V12, benefitting packaging and maximising usable cabin space.

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