Nobody makes more engines with a dozen cylinders than the Volkswagen Group. They’re W12s, of course, owing to the novel shape of their cylinder banks. Now the German industrial giant has announced a comprehensively reworked version of that engine at the same Vienna Motor Symposium where it presented its new 2.0-liter turbo four.
The new W12 retains the same arrangement and the same 6.0-liter displacement, but updates it all with the latest powertrain tech. In place of Audi’s FSI direct injection and Bentley’s TMPI multi-point injection, the engine has adopted a new TSI system. It’s also got a pair of new twin-scroll turbochargers, APS-coated cylinders, a new cooling system, active engine mounts, cylinder deactivation, and a stop/start system. And – crucially for application in the upcoming Bentayga – it has an oil circuit designed for off-road use.
The revised package now produces 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Considerably more than the 567 hp and 516 lb-ft offered in the Bentley Continental GT W12, but less than the GT Speed, which we suspect will get an even more powerful version of this new engine. It’s also more powerful than even the top version of Audi and Bentley’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, to make the W12 a more compelling option.
Of course that’s just as far as the Continental GT is concerned. The W12 has also found use in the Continental GTC and Flying Spur, as well as the Volkswagen Phaeton and Audi A8, and could find further applications under the Flying B emblem and elsewhere in the future. VW says that in the right application (say, in the production version of the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, for example), the new twelve-pot could deliver 0-62 times of under four seconds and a top speed in excess of 186 miles per hour.