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Bentley Bentayga SUV to get new W12 engine

Bentley Bentayga
The Volkswagen Group’s next-generation W12 engine will debut in the 2017 Bentley Bentayga SUV, and will then gradually make its way under the hoods of other high-end VW Group models.

After the Bentayga launches in late 2016, the new W12 will be deployed in the next Audi A8 and Volkswagen Phaeton, as well as successors to the current Bentley Continental GT and Flying Spur, reports Automotive News Europe.

The 6.0-liter engine was unveiled last month at the Vienna Motor Symposium, and will be the first twelve-cylinder VW Group engine to feature both direct injection and turbocharging. They’re currently used separately on Audi and Bentley W12s, respectively.

In addition to the A8, Phaeton, and Bentley models that already feature twelve-cylinder engines, the new W12 could be used in the Audi Q7, the report says. That version would arrive two to three years from now.

The Q7 uses the same MLB platform that will also underpin the Bentayga, so a W12 transplant doesn’t sound impossible. That platform will also gird the next Porsche Cayenne and Lamborghini’s Urus, although there’s no telling whether the W12 will be used in those models too.

The engine is currently rated at 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, although Volkswagen says it will be tuned to produce more in the future. It’s also “track ready,” the company claims.

Stricter global emissions standards mean engineers are focusing on fuel economy as well as power. In the A8 and Phaeton, they’re reportedly aiming for a roughly 30 percent improvement over the original Phaeton from 2002.

The Bentayga’s other powertrain will probably generate more efficiency-related headlines, though.

In addition to being Bentley’s first SUV, the Bentayga is widely rumored to be the carmaker’s first production plug-in hybrid. Because nothing says “green” like an SUV with the bulk and furnishings of a small house.

Look for Volkswagen’s latest W12 when the Bentley Bentayga debuts next year, and expect it to become a familiar feature in the company’s sprawling lineup in the years to come.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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