A Look into the Bentley Bentayga Speed’s W12 Engine

The Newest generation of the exclusive, luxury SUV has no groundbreaking changes from the previous model, essentially being only an esthetic upgrade, but why fix something that’s not broken?
A Look into the Bentley Bentayga Speed’s W12 Engine 8 photos
Photo: Bentley Motors Limited
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The 2021 Bentayga Speed will be the sole bearer of the six-liter, 634 PS W12 engines in Bentley’s lineup. Previous owners opted for an undercover Speed, ordering the base model with a twelve-cylinder upgrade.

So, Bentley decided to deliver the base 2021 Bentayga with a single engine option, the V8. The only way customers can get the opulent SUV with a six-liter W12 engine next year, is to order a Bentayga Speed.

The mass-production W12 engine is a marvelous piece of engineering by the research and development department at Volkswagen.

WV W12 Engine
Photo: Volkswagen AG
It was first introduced in the Volkswagen Nardò W12 Coupé concept back in 2001, a car that set the 24-Hour world endurance record at that time, achieving 4,402.8 miles (7,085.7 kilometers) and an average speed of 183 mph (295 kph).

The same year, the first production car to feature this engine came out the factory gates in the form of the Audi A8 (4D). Other VAG Group brands adopted this engine tough the years, including the Brits at Bentley, which first used it to power the exquisite Continental GT.

The concept behind the way this engine is built started from the idea of fusing two narrow-angled 15 degrees VR6 Engines at an inclined angle of 72 degrees. One of the biggest aims of this project was to build a powerful, yet efficient and compact engine.

The Bentley version of this ingenious engine is refined, tuned, and adapted to meet the British manufacturer’s most rigorous demands. The assembly is done in England at the Crewe plant by some of the most skillful mechanics in the industry.

When assembling an engine, they spend about 10% of the total time required to build a Bentayaga and build it by hand in the early stages of the process.

The twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 delivers a peak power of 635 PS (626 bhp). The elegant SUV will accelerate effortlessly thanks to the 900 Nm (664 lb. ft) of torque and sprints from 0 to 62 mph (0-100 kph) in just 3.9 seconds.

Bentley  Bentayga
Photo: Bentley Motors Limited
One of the key features of modern day engines is efficiency; to save fuel and reduce emissions, the engine control unit can deactivate one complete bank of six cylinders, switching between the A and B bank using information from the inlet and exhaust sensors.

Another innovation that maximizes efficiency is felt when the car is cruising along the speedway in fifth or up to eighth gear and the driver releases the throttle. The car will continue its momentum with the engine dropped to idle with the aid of a throttle converter and just “sail” down the speedway, which is the most Bentley feature ever.

Exclusively available in the Speed edition, the Sport mode has been modified to enhance response from the W12 engine. Along with the eight-speed automatic transmission, the air suspension system and Bentley Dynamic Ride, they result in a unrivaled driving experience.

The Bentayga Speed is one of the most powerful luxury SUVs out there, setting the standard for its class since being launched in 2015. It will be available in regions where demand for twelve-cylinder SUVs still is strong – the U.S., Middle East, and Asia Pacific.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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