Bentley has confirmed the end of production of their glorious W12 engine has been set for April 2024, after over 100,000 units of this iconic engine are built at their Dream Factory in Crewe, England, as a part of the Beyond 100 strategy that stipulates every single Bentley motorcar will be fully electric at the start of the next decade, a journey that started with the Hybrid models on the Bentayga and Flying Spur, remember the W12 made her appearance in the Bentley Continental GT about 20 years ago.
But the swansong of the W12 will be something special, as Bentley Development just created the most powerful version yet, specifically for the limited-edition Bentley Batur, the ultimate Gran Turismo handbuilt by Mulliner in just 18 units, which will come with a massive 750 PS and an even more impressive 1,000 Nm of torque. Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Hallmark, comments: “Our progressive journey towards sustainable luxury mobility means making changes to every area of Bentley Motors. 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 forward 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 The 750 PS titan that Mulliner has created for the Batur marks the end of a development journey of which our engineering and manufacturing colleagues should be extremely proud, and when production finishes in April next year we aim to retrain and redeploy all of the skilled craftspeople who still build each engine by hand.”
While the Bentley Batur will be fitted with the 750 PS behemoth, you are still able to order the 659 PS version of the W12 in the Bentley Continental GT Speed, the Bentley Bentayga Speed, and the Bentley Flying Spur Speed, but only very limited numbers will be available, as Mulliner is building the Batur, you’ll also be able to go for the Continental GT Mulliner and Flying Spur Mulliner with the regal W12 engine … for now, but it the Batur that will end an era with the most powerful incarnation of the W12 that has been continually developed since being introduced in 2002, remember the W12 configuration creates a 24% reduction in length compared to a standard V12 engine, so fitting a large displacement engine as a W12 made a lot of sense.
But the current generation of the W12 engine that was used as the base for the 750 PS Batur unit was introduced in 2015 on the Bentley Bentayga, with a crankcase that was 30% stronger compared to the original unit, now with three separate coolant circuits, one specifically for the cylinder heads, one for the engine block itself and the oil system, while the third and final circuit is there to handle the thermal load of the turbochargers, and because each circuit comes with its own, individual water pump, there is full control for each circuit for perfect heat control of the W12 beauty.
Twin-scroll turbochargers minimize turbo response time and provide a more efficient exhaust package. The exhaust assemblies for the three front and three rear cylinders are separate from one another which then feed the twin-scroll impellers. The turbocharger housing is welded directly to the exhaust manifolds and features integrated speed sensors, allowing the engine to monitor turbo performance for maximum efficiency. Bentley’s Variable Displacement system shuts down half of the engine under defined conditions. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection, and ignition are all shut down on defined cylinders, with the engine running as a six-cylinder for improved efficiency. The system will run in this mode in gears three to eight, below 3,000 rpm, and up to 300 Nm torque output.