It comes with Bentley's shift to electrification.
At least in road car applications, the W12 engine is a unique piece of engineering coming from the Volkswagen Group. The 6.0-litre WR12 48v, which utilises a four-bank design, was the only mass-produced W12 engine for road cars when it was introduced in 2001.
Since then, Volkswagen has used the 12-cylinder mill in a number of configurations, with Bentley the sole user of the current turbocharged setup for its cars like the Bentayga, Continental GT, and Flying Spur – at least until Audi announces its return to the A8, if at all.
Gallery: 2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed W12
However, Bentley announced that it will go fully electric by 2030, and by 2026, all vehicles in the British marque's lineup will be either plug-in hybrids or full EVs. This left a question about what the future holds for the revered W12, which currently doesn't have a hybrid application in any vehicle.
This was answered by the company through a report by Autoblog.
"No more W12," was the answer that the online publication got when they asked about the future of the engine. For those who are still not giving up on cylinders, you have six more years before the company completely drops it from the lineup.
Then again, the W12 engine, despite its esteemed performance, is aging. With the automotive industry shifting to downsizing and electrification since way back, the fate of the W12 has already been decided even without official confirmation and maybe it's for the better. Emission regulations are there for a reason.
Meanwhile, the bigger W16 engine is endemic to Bugatti hypercars, and that too could meet its end, though the French marque's pretty bullish about its quad-turbocharged mill – at least for now.