LONDON — Bentley will stop production of its 12-cylinder engine next year as the brand shifts to selling electric cars.

“The time has come to retire this now-iconic powertrain as we take strides towards electrification,” Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark said in a statement.

The W12 has powered Bentley cars since the ultraluxury brand’s reinvention by owners Volkswagen Group in 2003.

The engine gets its name because it has 12 cylinders arranged in a W formation rather than a V shape.

The first Bentley to use the engine was the 2003 Continental GT coupe and it still powers top-end versions of the GT, the Flying Spur sedan and Bentayga SUV.

The 6.0-liter, twin-turbo powerplant was initially built by VW in Salzgitter, Germany, but it was moved to Bentley’s factory in Crewe, England, in 2014.

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