Bentley has announced that its Crewe headquarters will become the center of excellence for the Volkswagen Group for all W12 engine production from the end of 2014 onwards. Around 100 new jobs will be created because of this decision.
Furthermore, Bentley says the move will reinforce its position as the world’s largest producer of 12-cylinder engines, and will result in the company exporting engines for the first time in its history.
Outside the Bentley Continental GT and Flying Spur, the only VW Group vehicle that is currently offered with a W12 engine is the Audi A8 L W12. In the past, the VW Phaeton and Touareg were also offered with this type of powerplant. Bentley expects to build up to 9,000 engines per year at peak times, many of which will be fitted to its upcoming SUV.
“This is an important step, not just for Bentley but also for the UK manufacturing sector,” said Bentley Motors CEO, Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber. “This W12 center of excellence is recognition of the long standing engine manufacturing expertise we have that has resulted in performance improvements across the model ranges over recent years. The production of this advanced engine and its future generations will bring new technologies and skills to Crewe.”
The VW Group’s 6.0-liter W12 engine produces up to 626 hp (616PS) and 820 Nm (605 lb-ft) of torque in the Bentley Continental GT Speed. The engine is also offered in lower states of tune in the Bentley Flying Spur (616 hp/625PS) and Bentley Continental GT (567hp/575PS). The Audi A8 L W12 is powered by a 6.3-liter W12 engine producing 493hp (500PS).
By Dan Mihalascu