It seems that with the release of the Bentley twin-turbo V8 powerplant, the W12 could be rendered a useless dinosaur. The British automaker however, still has plans to make the W12 more efficient and a viable engine in Bentley’s lineup.
The new 4.0L V8 from Bentley pushes out 500-hp, impressive when compared to the larger, less efficient W12 engine that makes 567-hp. The V8 however has noticeable fuel savings when compared to the W12. Ralf Frech of Bentley recently said that further improvements for the W12 engine are in the works.
Bentley looks to apply the same improvements that they did with their V8 to the W12, increasing power to around 600-hp from 567-hp while enhancing fuel economy. A big help in obtaining more fuel efficiency would be switching out the current six-speed transmission for an eight-speed.
There is also the chance that Bentley could turn their W12 into a hybrid variant, as the luxury carmaker has considered hybrid and plug-in variants for their Mulsanne and upcoming SUV model.
“We are looking at the possibility of a hybrid, particularly a plug-in hybrid, but we are waiting for the next generation of technologies because none of the current solutions work,” Frech said.
Unfortunately, Frech didn’t specify any timeframe for a new and improved W12.