Bentley's Famed W-12 to Be Replaced by a 740+-HP Hybrid V-8

bentley ultra performance hybrid v8 powertrain
Bentley's Famed W-12 to be Replaced by Hybrid V-8Bentley
  • The time has come for Bentley's 6.0-liter W-12 engine to point west and head off into the sunset after two decades of production.

  • It will be replaced by a hybrid V-8 called the Ultra Performance Hybrid, which Bentley says is capable of producing more than 740 horsepower and driving 50 miles in an electric-only mode.

  • The automaker released a short audio clip showcasing the engine's suitably low growl under revs, but we'll have to wait a while longer before we know which vehicle will be the first to feature the new powertrain.

All good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, that includes 6.0-liter W-12 engines produced by century-old British automakers. After more than two decades and over 100,000 engines built, Bentley is retiring the renowned W-12 engine later this summer.

Now, the automaker has confirmed the W-12's replacement will be a "performance focused" hybrid V-8 that Bentley is calling the Ultra Performance Hybrid. It will be capable of producing more than 740 horsepower when you want to get rowdy and will also have the ability to drive roughly 50 miles in electric-only mode when you want to quiet things down.

bentley ultra performance hybrid v8 powertrain

Bentley released a short audio clip in which the powertrain exhibits a fittingly menacing growl. Other than a rough power estimate and the number of cylinders, Bentley was pretty quiet on the new powertrain's details. However, we think it's a fairly safe assumption that Bentley will make use of the same plug-in-hybrid 4.0-liter V-8 found in the new Lamborghini Urus SE. That model has a 189-hp electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it generates a combined 789 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque with the ICE engine.

Bentley states that its new powertrain makes 739.7 horsepower, which is noticeably lower than the Urus's 789, but with how tunable electric motors are we still think it's likely the two powertrains are closely related.


Bentley hasn't revealed which model will be the first to earn the new headlining powertrain, but we expect it could end up being the Continental GT, which arrived in its current generation in 2019. All three vehicles in the automaker's current lineup have featured a W-12 option in the past, though only the Continental GT and Flying Spur offer it in limited quantities now. Whichever model winds up with it first, we'll be champing at the bit to see how it drives—even if we will miss those extra cylinders.

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