Luxury carmaker Bentley has announced that it will cease production of its 12-cylinder petrol engine in April 2024. The decision comes as part of Bentley’s acceleration towards a sustainable future through its Beyond100 strategy which the company announced in 2020.
The plan will see the company’s entire model line become exclusively plug-in hybrids or battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2026 and completely zero emissions models by 2030. This will reduce its fleet’s average emissions to 0 g/km CO2.
Bentley’s journey has already begun with the introduction of the Bentayga and Flying Spur Hybrid models for which demand is exceeding the company’s expectations. When production of the W12 ceases next year, Bentley’s entire model line will be available with the option of a hybrid powertrain.
Adrian Hallmark, Bentley chairman and chief executive, said: “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.”
In 2022, Bentley announced it would be developing its first electric vehicle (EV) in the UK as part of the company’s sustainability plan where they will be investing £2.5 billion over the next 10 years.
The British luxury carmaker’s first electric vehicle, which is a beautiful looking car, will go into production at the brand’s Dream Factory in Crewe, England in 2025. It will offer a massive 1,400 horsepower (1,044 kilowatts) and accelerate from 0-60mph (0-97kph) in just 1.5 seconds.
The new Bentley electric car will be built on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) that has been developed by Audi for its future A6 Avant e-tron and urbansphere electric vehicles. Audi is Bentley’s controlling division within the VW Group, so this makes sense.
It’s good to see luxury car producers like Bentley moving away from internal combustion engines (ICEs) and setting an example at the top. Others, including Rolls Royce with its Spectre electric car which is expected at the end of this year, are also following suit.