Bentley Phases Out Signature 12-Cylinder Engine in Shift to Electrification

22nd February 2023

Luxury car brand Bentley has made a bold move towards electrification by announcing the end of production of its flagship 12-cylinder engine. This engine, which has been a defining feature of Bentley’s identity, provided its models with signature effortless power. However, with the switch to electric vehicles gaining momentum, Bentley has decided to shift its focus and end the production of this technology.

“The time has come to retire this now-iconic powertrain as we take strides toward electrification” – Bentley Chairman and CEO “Adrian Hallmark”

Bentley Chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark

The 12-cylinder engine, which is much larger than the standard engines found in most petrol cars, has been a key selling point for Bentley’s cars. It is larger than the V8 engines found in high-performance cars and has been considered the pinnacle of engineering in the combustion era. Despite this, Bentley’s decision to embrace the future and move away from this technology marks the end of an era in the automotive world.

Bentley W12 Engine

The W12 Engine

The current engine, first released in 2003 and with over 100,000 manufactured, will see its last batch roll off the production line in April 2024. This decision to end the production of the 12-cylinder engine makes Bentley the first of the luxury car brands to make this move. It is a brave decision that will ensure the longevity and sustainability of the company in the years to come.

Luxury car enthusiasts looking to get their hands on a Bentley car powered by the brand’s flagship 12-cylinder engine have until next April to make their purchase. The automaker is offering a limited edition of 18 specially-made cars under its highest-end Mulliner marque, each fitted with a W12 engine that boasts 740 horsepower, compared to the standard factory output of 650.

New technologies for engines

This special edition marks the end of an era for Bentley, as it prepares to shift its focus toward electrification. The W12 engine has been a defining feature of the brand, providing its models with signature effortless power and making them stand out in the luxury car market. However, with the automotive industry moving towards electric vehicles, Bentley has decided to end production of the W12 engine, making this limited edition an even more valuable addition to any car collector’s garage.

Petrol enthusiasts may be mourning the loss of the control they once had through the gearbox and feedback received via engine noise in sports cars. But for the luxury car brand Bentley, the move to electric vehicles presents an opportunity to enhance the driving experience in a different way.

Bentleys have always been known for their effortless power, with models since the mid-1950s has been automatic and generally quieter drives. The transition to quiet electric cars with immediate power and no gears ought to be a smooth one for Bentley buyers.

Bentley W12 engine

The Era of electrification

As Bentley moves towards electrification, the company is also committed to preserving jobs. The 30 workers who currently assemble the 12-cylinder engines in Crewe will keep their jobs and be retrained for the production of electric powertrains, demonstrating the company’s commitment to a sustainable and responsible transition to electric vehicles.

The move to electric vehicles is not just a trend, it is the future of the automotive industry. And with Bentley being one of the first luxury car brands to make this move, the company is paving the way for others to follow.

While some may lament the loss of certain features that defined the traditional driving experience, it is an exciting time for car enthusiasts who are looking forward to the possibilities that the future holds. And for Bentley fans, the brand’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship will undoubtedly continue to shine through in their new electric vehicles.