Bentley Motors, the British luxury automaker, is bidding farewell to its 12-cylinder W12 engine after nearly two decades as the iconic brand charges toward an all-electric future.
For over a century, Bentley has built cars known for their performance and finest craftsmanship.
The luxury brand, part of Volkswagen, announced in the fall of 2020 its intention to become an all-electric brand within ten years. As part of its “Beyond100” sustainability strategy, Bentley is reinventing every aspect of the business to become an end-to-end carbon-neutral company by 2030.
Over the next ten years, Bentley is investing £2.5 billion (around $3.4 billion) to flip its entire model range to battery electric vehicles only.
The strategy includes a new “dream factory” in Crewe, England which the company says will transform operations.
Although Bentley has ambitious EV plans, the automaker has yet to launch a fully electric car. Bentley has two hybrid options – the Flying Spur and Bentayga hybrid.
However, to make up for lost time, the luxury automaker plans to deliver a new electric model every year starting in 2025 as part of its Five in Five plan.
As Bentley works to introduce its first electric vehicle and reduce emissions from its lineup, the company says it will retire the 12-cylinder W12 gas engine.
Bentley phasing out 12-cylinder engine in favor of electric
Bentley announced the news in a press release Wednesday, claiming the decision comes as part of the company’s journey toward zero-emission electric vehicles.
With the retirement of the 12-cylinder W12 engine starting next year, Bentley’s entire lineup will have hybrid options. Bentley’s Chairman and CEO, Adrian Hallmark, explains:
Our progressive journey towards sustainable luxury mobility means making changes to every area of Bentley Motors. 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. 20 years and more than 100,000 W12s later, the time has come to retire this now-iconic powertrain as we take strides towards electrification
The news is significant as Bentley is the largest producer of 12-cylinder gas-powered engines, and now the company plans to have no combustion engines within the decade.
Bentley plans to reinvent itself after over 100 years in the business as the industry progresses toward zero-emission electric vehicles.