With 500 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque on tap, Bentley’s new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 engine
is just 67 horsepower and 29 pound-feet of torque shy of the output generated by its twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12.
Factor in that the V-8 also produces 40 percent less CO2 emissions than the W-12 and suddenly the case for having the bigger engine starts making little sense.
However, a twelve-cylinder engine does have a future in Bentley’s lineup, including in the upcoming SUV model
, according to previous comments
made by CEO Wolfgang Durheimer.
Now, in an interview with What Car?
, Bentley's technical director Ralf Frech has revealed that the automaker is continuing to develop its W-12 engine.
“The W-12 can have the same improvements as the new V-8,” he said.
Frech went on to explain that the W-12 engine’s peak power could be lifted to around 600 horsepower while its fuel economy could also be improved. One possibility is matching the engine with a more efficient eight-speed automatic rather than the current six-speed unit.
And, as previously hinted
at by Durheimer, a plug-in hybrid option is also being studied. However, Bentley is waiting on the development of next-generation hybrid technologies as the current solutions available in the Volkswagen Group parts bin have been found to be unsuitable for its needs.
The most likely recipients for the plug-in hybrid option would be the Mulsanne flagship and upcoming SUV.