Remember those first Bentleys that came out that weren’t boring facsimiles of Rolls-Royces? You can (gasp!) thank a German company for that revival. Since 2003, Bentley has had a unique, twin-turbo W12 engine in its portfolio but, like all good things, it must come to an end. And, like all good manufacturers, Bentley is producing the most powerful W12 ever before being laid to rest in April 2024. As installed in the Bentley Batur by Mulliner, the W12 will put out 750 PS (or 750 x 0.9863 = approximately 740 horsepower).
Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to cringe: “Our progressive journey towards sustainable luxury mobility means making changes to every area of Bentley Motors,” says Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Hallmark. “When we first launched the W12 back in 2003, we knew we had a mighty engine that would propel both our cars and the brand forwards at speed. Twenty years and more than 100,000 W12s later, the time has come to retire this now-iconic powertrain as we take strides towards electrification – but not without giving it the best send-off possible, with the most powerful version of the engine ever created.”
If you skipped the previous paragraph and went straight here, your mind may be blown to learn that, by the time the W12 is put out to pasture next year, Bentley will have produced over 100,000 W12s over 20 years. That’s pretty impressive for an ultra-luxury vehicle with an unorthodox engine configuration. Measuring 6.0 liters, the W12 has benefitted from marginal improvements from Bentley engineers, culminating in a 37% increase in horsepower and 54% increase in torque over the past 20 years. Likewise, emissions have been reduced by 25%, all through the optimization of control systems, tweaks to the oil and cooling designs, turbocharging technology, and more effective injection and combustion processes. Since 2015, the W12 has had cylinder deactivation, direct and port injection, and twin-scroll turbos.
The special Batur model, which is based on the Continental GT coupe, is the only Bentley that will feature the 750 PS engine. To achieve that power, Bentley reengineered the turbo compressors, increased the air ducts to feed the turbocharger and the intercoolers, and managed to dissipate heat by 35%. Torque is a nice round 1,000 lb-ft. Only 18 Baturs will be built by coachbuilder Mulliner but, pity, all have already been earmarked for people with more money than you. However, you can still buy a Speed versions of the Continental, Bentayga and Flying Spur models, as well as the Continental GT Mulliner and Flying Spur Mulliner and get the next best thing at 659 PS.
Adds Hallmark, “The 750 PS titan that Mulliner has created for the Batur marks the end of a development journey of which our engineering and manufacturing colleagues should be extremely proud, and 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.”