Bentley signals end of V12 engine as drive to all electric continues

Iconic luxury car manufacture Bentley has announced it is to cease production of its 12-cylinder petrol engine in April 2024 as part of its move towards an electric powered future.

The firm said that when the last of the W12 engines comes off the production line , by which time more than 100,000 will have been produced by hand in the company’s Dream Factory in Crewe, England.

“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, reducing fleet average emissions to 0 g/km CO2,” It said in a statement. “This journey has already begun, with the introduction of the Bentayga and Flying Spur Hybrid models for which demand is exceeding the company’s expectations.”

Bentley added: “When production of the W12 ceases next year, Bentley’s entire model line will be available with the option of a hybrid powertrain. Meanwhile, an engine first made available in the sector-defining Continental GT, which has been powering Bentley both metaphorically and literally for the last 20 years, will be consigned to history.”

However the manufacturer said it will not let the W12 bow out without a dramatic send-off. Development work has concluded recently on the most powerful version of the W12 ever created. The ultimate iteration of the engine – destined for just 18 examples of the Bentley Batur to be handcrafted by Mulliner – is now confirmed as developing 750 PS and 1,000 Nm of torque. The increased torque figure forms the typical Bentley ‘torque plateau’, running from 1,750 rpm to 5,000 rpm – with peak power at 5,500 rpm.

Currently two Bentley models are available with hybrid powertrains: the Flying Spur Hybrid and Bentayga Hybrid.

Under its Beyond100 strategy Bentley has committed to building a new ‘Dream Factory’ in Crewe which will “transform” the company’s operations.

“It will facilitate a fundamental reinvention of the Crewe manufacturing infrastructure, with the aspiration of becoming the future benchmark of luxury car manufacturing, incorporating unique customer and employee experiences. An investment which will be pivotal in Bentley’s journey towards being end to end carbon neutral by 2030,” it added.

Bentley has also committed to an ambitious Five in Five plan to deliver a new electric model every year starting in 2025.
“Emission-free cars represent just one strand of our vision,” the company said. “Because the way cars are actually built must change – and in this area, we are already leading the charge. The site on which the Bentley factory is located was certified carbon neutral in 2019. This reflects reductions in energy use resulting from the introduction of a record-breaking array of solar panels, among other sustainability-driven initiatives. It’s all part of a drive to ensure that Bentley becomes carbon-neutral end-to-end by 2030.

“Bentley has already made enormous strides towards reinventing our historic Crewe site, and creating an industry-leading certified carbon neutral factory. This will be the basis of reducing Bentley’s carbon footprint across all products and non-factory operations, in line with Bentley’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.”