Bentley’s twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 engine will soon be a thing of the past, with the automaker on Tuesday announcing that production of the unique engine will come to an end in April 2024.
The final application will be the Batur, which Bentley said during last year’s reveal serves as a bridge between the automaker’s internal-combustion past and electric future.
The limited-edition coupe, whose 740-hp rating (previously 730 hp) makes it Bentley’s most powerful road car to date, previews design themes pegged for Bentley’s upcoming EVs, the first of which will be revealed in 2025 ahead of an on-sale date in 2026. Just 18 examples of the Batur are destined to be built.
The W-12, as well as the V-6 (in plug-in hybrid configuration) and V-8 Bentley uses, was always on borrowed time. The automaker has confirmed plans to go the fully electric route by the end of the decade. By the time production comes to an end, more than 105,000 examples of the W-12 will have been built, according to Bentley.
The engine made its debut in the Continental GT two decades ago and has been updated over the years, as well as supplied to other brands within the Volkswagen Group at times. Because of its W-layout, which essentially makes it two V-6s on a common crank, the engine is around 25% shorter than a traditional V-12. This enabled Bentley to move the firewall forward, and thus maximize cabin space.
Each version of the engine had to undergo rigorous testing before being signed off. One such test involved running it at full throttle for 100 hours, then repeating the process three more times (which simulates 20,000 miles at 200 mph). Another test takes the engine to redline, 100 times, within 30 seconds of a startup at 14 degrees F. Even after development is signed off and the engine is in production, every week one is taken from the production line, run over an extended test cycle, and then fully stripped for inspection.
Each of the engines takes around 6.5 hours to be built. A dedicated team of 30 individuals is responsible for the assembly, and Bentley said each member will be redeployed elsewhere after production ends.
Anyone looking to secure one of the final W-12s will need to act fast. Bentley said there are “very few” build slots remaining for models equipped with the engine. Anyone looking to secure a Batur has missed their chance as the car is sold out, despite a starting price of 1.65 million British pounds (approximately $2 million). The start of deliveries is scheduled for mid-2023.