VW’s lat­est 12 cylin­der idles like a sewing ma­chine, al­most

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

WHILE most of us steer clear of V8 en­gines be­cause they use too much fuel, there are enough rich peo­ple in the world to make a vi­able niche for a 12-cylin­der en­gine, which Volk­swa­gen is happy to sup­ply.

The VW Group un­veiled its lat­est six-litre W12 at the Vi­enna Mo­tor Sym­po­sium, held in Aus­tria last week. Recog­nis­ing that oil prices are head­ing back up, the W12 block does comes with fuel-sav­ing cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion, Audi’s FSI mul­ti­point fuel in­jec­tion, and a stop-start sys­tem. The en­gine will be used in the Bent­ley Ben­tayga and has switch­able oil pump to keep the 12 pis­tons lubri­cated dur­ing of­froad use.

Other ve­hi­cles that will use the W12 are the next-gen­er­a­tion Audi A8 and the Volk­swa­gen Phaeton. To en­sure the big block up-front does not tin­kle the ice in the glasses at the back too much, the en­gine has its own ac­tive sus­pen­sion sys­tem that cancel the en­gine’s vi­bra­tions with phase-shifted counter-vi­bra­tions gen­er­ated by elec­tro­mag­netic ac­tu­a­tors that op­er­ate like lit­tle shock ab­sorbers, ex­cept that it gen­er­ates im­pact in­stead of damp­en­ing the force.

VW Group said the new en­gine makes 447 kW (600 bhp) at 6 000 rpm and a peak torque of 900 Nm from 1 500 rpm up to 4 500 rpm. This should pro­pel even the heavy Bent­ley Ben­tayga from 0 to 100 km/h in less than four sec­onds. Fuel con­sump­tion? If you have to ask, you may be more in­ter­ested in Audi’s new 2,0, which was also launched at the Vi­enna Mo­tor Sym­po­sium.


Now a lit­tle bit more eco­nom­i­cal, the 12-cylin­der, six-litre block from the VW Group that pow­ers luxury cars.

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