The future of the Volkswagen Group’s W-12 is safe thanks to innovations that ensure the big brute of an engine meets more stringent emissions regulations coming into force over the next several years. At the past week’s Vienna Motor Symposium, the same event where Audi presented its next-generation 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the VW Group unveiled a new 6.0-liter W-12 destined to appear in vehicles from a handful of the automaker’s brands.
The new engine retains the unique W-pattern cylinder arrangement favored by the VW Group for its larger engines. It also keeps the 6.0-liter displacement and twin-turbocharging system of the W-12 engine it’s set to replace, to which a new fuel injection system combining direct injection (fuel injected into the combustion chamber) and multi-point injection (fuel injected into the intake port) has been added.
Other improvements include thermal spray coating of the internals, a beefed up cooling system with integrated temperature management, fuel-saving cylinder deactivation, a dual-controller management system, and a stop-start system. The engine also features its own active suspension system to smooth out vibrations. This relies on actuators to counteract vibrations induced by the engine with phase-shifted counter-vibrations.
One last feature, required for the engine’s application in Bentley’s upcoming Bentayga SUV, is an oil circuit suitable for off-road use and featuring a switchable oil pump. Other vehicles we can expect to see the new engine include the rest of Bentley’s lineup as well as the next-generation Audi A8 and Volkswagen Phaeton.
According to the VW Group, the engine in its most basic setting produces a peak 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 664 pound-feet, the latter of which is produced from as low as 1,500 rpm and maintained all the way up to 4,500 rpm. Most vehicles fitted with the engine should be able to sprint from 0-62 mph in less than four seconds and hit a top speed in excess of 186 mph. EPA-rated fuel economy is yet to be announced but on the more lenient European combined cycle test the engine should produce less than 250 grams of CO2 per kilometer.