New eras in the automotive world mean the end of others, and so too does it befall the 12-cylinder engine at Bentley. A little over a year from now – April 2024 to be exact – assembly of the big W12 at Bentley's facility in England will come to a close. Before that happens, however, it will exit the scene as Bentley's most powerful 12-pot ever. And it's even more powerful than previously announced.
Under the hood of the extremely rare Bentley Batur, the twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 is now officially rated at 740 horsepower. That's up from 710 hp when the Batur was announced in August 2022, though torque remains the same at 737 pound-feet. The ultimate evolution of the W12 in Bentley's care uses new turbochargers with a more efficient design, and they gather air through larger ducts. The intake/turbo combination operates at lower temperatures, and a new engine calibration further tunes the mill to 740 hp.
Gallery: Bentley Batur W12 Engine
The Batur will be the only Bentley using this particular version of the W12. Just 18 are planned for production, and each one is already sold. However, Bentley says the 649-hp version of the W12 is still available in limited numbers for the Bentayga, Continental GT, and Flying Spur, as well as Mulliner versions of the GT and Spur. Once April 2024 rolls around, however, that's it.
"The 740 hp (750 ps) titan that Mulliner created for the Batur marks the end of a development journey of which our engineering and manufacturing colleagues should be extremely proud," said Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark. "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."
30 specialists spend approximately 6.5 hours building and testing the W12. It entered production with Bentley in 2003, after the company's acquisition by Volkswagen. In the 20 years since, over 100,000 engines have been built for various models in Bentley's lineup. Power and efficiency have increased through various improvements, but it simply cannot compete with electrification. Going forward, the space dedicated to W12 production will be repurposed for hybrid powertrains.