- Bentley announced it will stop producing W12 engines by April 2024.
- The W12 currently powers certain Bentayga, Continental and Flying Spur variants, plus the ultra-exclusive Batur.
- The next step in Bentley's plan to go fully electric by 2030.
The End of an Era: Bentley Will Stop Producing W12 Engines in 2024
On the path to an all-electric future
In 2020, Bentley outlined what it calls its Beyond100 strategy — the plan that puts one of the world's preeminent luxury automakers on the path to a fully electric lineup. To recap, by 2026 all Bentleys will be either plug-in hybrids or all-electric, and by 2030, all new Bentleys will be fully electric. Now we know that the next nail in internal combustion's coffin will come in April 2024, when production of the enormously powerful twin-turbocharged W12 engine that has powered Bentleys since 2004 will cease. While we'll miss the thunderous, torque-rich 12-cylinder, the reality is that the available V8 is more than enough to drive these big beasts quickly and with authority.
A fitting send-off
The handbuilt 6.0-liter W12 is currently available on all three Bentleys — the Flying Spur sedan, the Continental GT Coupe (optional on Mulliner and standard on Speed trims) and the Bentayga Speed SUV. Bentley is also debuting a hyper-exclusive coupe called the Batur this year; limited to only 18 units worldwide, it features the most potent version of the W12 ever, which pumps out 740 horsepower and 737 lb-ft of torque. For reference, the Continental GT Speed's 12-cylinder is the second most powerful engine in Bentley's arsenal, and it makes 650 hp.
After W12 production is completed, the line will switch to building the V6 and V8 engines used elsewhere in Bentley's lineup. On the electrification front, Bentley's first full EV will be available in 2025, some time after the ultra high-end Cadillac Celestiq and Rolls-Royce Spectre debut.
While we'll miss the immense thrust and exotic nature of the W12, Bentley's V8 is nearly as quick and much more fuel-efficient.