Bentley W12: more power coming


In the wake of the launch of the fastest ever production Bentley to the world's motoring press in Germany this week, the company has hinted that an even more powerful version of its W12 engine could be on the way. The new Continental GT Speed uses a 625hp version of the 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged unit to power it on to a top speed of 205mph, but a senior Bentley powertrain engineer confirmed, "the W12 has much more to give."

Engine test regime is brutal to say the least
Engine test regime is brutal to say the least
Despite being the fastest Bentley ever, the new Speed isn't the most powerful Continental GT to date. The 2009 Supersports - based on the pre-facelift model - was marginally more powerful at 630hp. A Supersports version of the latest Continental GT could see that figure rise towards 650hp. Even in 630hp guise the W12 unit develops 105hp/litre, suggesting that there's capacity to extract more power without harming reliability or drivability.

Indeed, engine reliability is a priority for Bentley. One of its durability tests for the W12 unit involves four 100-hour sessions at full throttle. That's the equivalent of nearly 20,000 miles (32,000km in new money) at over 200mph. Another is the scuff test, in which the engine is wound up to the rev limiter 100 times within 30 seconds of a -10 degree centigrade ambient temperature start.

The W12 engine and the Continental GT itself have been huge successes for Bentley. Since its 2003 launch, 26,000 examples of the two-door coupe have been shifted, helping to make Bentley the world's most prolific manufacturer of 12-cylinder engines.

 

 

 

 

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Comments (49) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Bobley 18 Dec 2012

    I remember running a similar test for Rover 12 years ago. They just took an engine, started it, checked for leaks and then took it to max power for 30 mins. Thats its. I think that was the piston butch test. The only engine which failed was the one where the head had been dropped and the head gasket was leaking oil into the coolant.

    Meanwhile, 650 ponies pulling a heavyweight bruiser, I wouldn't want to work in the cooling department at Crewe...just yet.

    Edited by Bobley on Tuesday 18th December 21:39

  • Max_Torque 18 Dec 2012

    I test to destruction, although not always on purpose........... ;-)

  • Captain Muppet 18 Dec 2012

    Max_Torque said:
    The cold scuff test is actually just a normal start, then straight to WOT peak power rpm. Where the engine is held until the thermostat opens, and then the engine is force chilled and the test repeated until either the piston picks up, or the bores are cream crackered.
    No one tests to distruction, you test to the target then inspect the engine. If distruction happens the engine isn't production ready.

    If you test to destruction you have no idea of how bad wear is at the durability target.

  • mrmr96 18 Dec 2012

    Max_Torque said:
    Ok, i'm a bit late on this one, but i call CUSTARD on the scuff test procedure!


    Scuff test: Cold engine revved to rev limiter 100 times within 30 seconds of a -10c cold start?



    So, a Bentley V12 engine can get from idle to the rev limiter and back in 300ms can it?? Can it F**k !!!

    I think you may be mistaking that for an F1 engine (~40krpm per sec max crank acceleration)


    The cold scuff test is actually just a normal start, then straight to WOT peak power rpm. Where the engine is held until the thermostat opens, and then the engine is force chilled and the test repeated until either the piston picks up, or the bores are cream crackered.
    Yes, it should have been written more clearly as: "Cold engine revved to rev limiter within 30 seconds of a -10c cold start, 100 times"

  • Greg_D 18 Dec 2012

    Max_Torque said:
    Ok, i'm a bit late on this one, but i call CUSTARD on the scuff test procedure!


    Scuff test: Cold engine revved to rev limiter 100 times within 30 seconds of a -10c cold start?



    So, a Bentley V12 engine can get from idle to the rev limiter and back in 300ms can it?? Can it F**k !!!

    I think you may be mistaking that for an F1 engine (~40krpm per sec max crank acceleration)


    The cold scuff test is actually just a normal start, then straight to WOT peak power rpm. Where the engine is held until the thermostat opens, and then the engine is force chilled and the test repeated until either the piston picks up, or the bores are cream crackered.
    i read it as -10 start, within 30 seconds rev the nuts off it, repeat 100 times (ie a day or so to complete the test)

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