Xcar asks why the W in the Bentley Continental GT
There aren't a lot of automakers producing V12 engines these days: There's BMW and Mercedes, of course, and the Rolls-Royces and Paganis they power. There's Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin. But the largest producer of twelve-cylinder engines doesn't make them in a V. That'd be Bentley, and it produces more dozen-piston engines than anyone else, but arranges them in a W configuration.
It's a compelling story of innovation, one as interesting as the history of the marque itself. And Xcar tells the tale in its latest video installment, tracing it back to the development of the compact VR6 engine and the autocratic mastermind at the helm of the Volkswagen Group who made the W12 a reality.
By this point it would be all too easy to consign the W12 to the dustbin of history as the smaller, more efficient and nearly as powerful V8 has slotted in below to push the W12 to the margins of relevance. But it's still the more refined option, and the more innovative one. Little wonder it's the only type of twelve-cylinder engine (the Aventador's notwithstanding) that the Volkswagen Group still makes. Video