Home » The Bentley Batur Convertible Marks A Stay Of Execution For The W12 Engine

The Bentley Batur Convertible Marks A Stay Of Execution For The W12 Engine

Bentley Batur Ts2
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Good news if you’re a billionaire and an in-home tanning bed is just a little too low-rent for you: The Bentley Batur Convertible has been unveiled right in time for nice weather, and it’s rocking a 740-horsepower twin-turbo W12. Hang on, wasn’t that engine supposed to be dead? I’m certainly not mad, but what on earth is it doing still alive and kicking?

In case you aren’t hugely familiar with Volkswagen Group’s W12, it’s a pretty cool engine. Basically, there used to be an engine called a VR6, which was a V6 with an ultra-narrow 15-degree cylinder bank angle that allowed the engine to use a single-cylinder head and fit in places where a normal V6 simply wouldn’t. Volkswagen then took two of those engines and merged them in CAD at a 72-degree angle around a common crankshaft. The result? The world’s only production W12 engine.

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Bentley announced last February that production of the mighty W12 engine would “finish in April 2024,” with the ultimate iteration destined exclusively for the Batur coupe. As per a media release:

Bentley isn’t letting the W12 bow out without a dramatic send-off.  Development work has concluded recently on the most powerful version of the W12 ever created. The ultimate iteration of this mighty engine – destined for just 18 examples of the Bentley Batur to be handcrafted by Mulliner – is now confirmed as developing 750 PS and 1,000 Nm of torque.  The increased torque figure forms the typical Bentley ‘torque plateau’, running from 1,750 rpm to 5,000 rpm – with peak power at 5,500 rpm.

Well, those 18 coupe allocations came and went, as did April 2024, and we thought that was about the end of it. However, on Tuesday, Bentley announced it would make 16 Batur Convertibles, each with a 740-horsepower twin-turbocharged W12. You know, the engine that, according to an official media release, had a firm stop to exit production last month.

Batur Convertible 2

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Now, the seven-figure Batur Convertible makes sense to build. It fills a missing link between the Batur coupe and the Bacalar roadster, and the world’s ultra-wealthy are clearly flush with enough cash to justify cranking out a small batch of these absurdly pricey drop-tops. However, how often does a car get unveiled after its engine was supposed to stop being made?

Batur 750ps Engine 1

We’re not talking about a kit car, or something that’s made on a small industrial estate, but a full-on Bentley on the high-end of a range of high-end cars from a marque that’s owned by Volkswagen. It’s not like Bentley is rebuilding engines from LKQ or anything, so these 16 engines are truly hot and fresh. That should be enough to make you wonder if Bentley has anything else it hasn’t told us.

Continental Gt Speed W12

After all, saying something will be the last-ever model and then being like ‘oops, my bad’ is a Pagani hallmark. Remember, the Zonda Cinque was meant to be the last Zonda, but then we got the Cinque Roadster, the Tricolore and the HP Barchetta, along with several one-off builds. Given that the Batur is basically a coachbuilt Continental that prints money, it doesn’t seem absurd to posit the theory that the Batur Convertible might not be the last W12 Bentley ever.

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Batur 750ps Engine 3

Indeed, Bentley’s wording in the media release for the Batur Convertible supports this theory. Not only does the marque claim that the W12 will get a stay of execution until sometime this summer, it officially calls the Batur Convertible “one of the last ever Bentleys to use this incredible powertrain.” What does the firm mean by “one of”?

Batur Convertible 4

 

Right now, W12 isn’t actually dead, and Bentley hints that it has something up its sleeve. There’s already been a coupe, a truly topless barchetta, and this convertible, so what could be next? Here’s a bold idea: A W12-powered shooting brake. Come on, Bentley. You know you want to.

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(Photo credits: Bentley)

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Millermatic
Millermatic
20 days ago

It’s a shame that none of the actual engine is visible in the engine bay.

Goof
Goof
21 days ago

MAKE THE EXP 10 SPEED SIX CONCEPT, YOU COWARDS!

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
21 days ago

It looks a lot like a Genesis,which makes sense, cosmically.

Last edited 21 days ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
21 days ago

That engine looks fucking stunning.

Millermatic
Millermatic
20 days ago
Reply to  67 Oldsmobile

Not with all that plastic covering on top of it…

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
21 days ago

Except for the vile colour, that is a superb looking car.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
21 days ago
Reply to  Albert Ferrer

FFS. This is the attitude that lands us in a world of black, white, and forty shades of gray. I’d happily take this dreamcicle-flavored Bentley over yet-another-silver supercar.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
21 days ago

There are plenty of shades of blue, green or red available to still have a colourful world without resorting to this.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
21 days ago
Reply to  Albert Ferrer

I actually think the colour is more interesting than some of the small derivative styling details. But hey, I’m never going to vote with my own wallet in this snack bracket.

Bite Me
Bite Me
20 days ago
Reply to  Albert Ferrer

Vile? It’s orange you dork. Do you get nauseated when you see a tangerine or a day lily?

Kyree
Kyree
21 days ago

With all due respect, I don’t understand where you draw this conclusion. Especially if it’s a limited run of just 16 cabriolets, it is entirely possible and likely that the engines would be produced ahead of time and then placed in storage, and the “end-of-production” schedule for the W12 is still as stated.

Automakers produce or order surpluses of major components, like engines all the time, even for the production lines. For an example, FoMoCo continued to build the third-generation “AJ-V8” Jaguar V8 well after it sold Jaguar Land Rover to Tata. The engines was built at a corporate Ford plant in Bridgend UK, as was its V6 derivative that came and went. Anyway, Ford closed that brand in 2020, and JLR made the decision to purchase or otherwise assume possession of the tooling and set up shop making the engines itself in Wolverhampton. In order to do this, JLR had Ford crank them out in greater numbers than usual, ahead of the temporary shutdown as operations were moved around. That way, they’d have some to support the factory line in the interim. (The AJ-V8 is likely on its way out since the new RR and RR Sport use BMW V8s again and the Defender, F-Type and F-Pace are the only cars that still use the Jag V8, but…still).

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
21 days ago
Reply to  Kyree

It is same for Mercedes-Benz who happened to “have” the surplus about 450 5-litre M117 V8 engines after the W126 production end in 1991. Oopsie, inventory error.

What to do with those surplus engines? Install them in the 500 GE, and the problem solved! So, only 446 units of 500 GE were produced for 1993 model year only.

Querty
Querty
21 days ago

Jokes on the poor (rich?) guy that bought one of the “last W12” thinking that would be actually the last

AlfaWhiz
AlfaWhiz
21 days ago
Reply to  Querty

Now this really, seriously is the last last one this time, we swear!

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
21 days ago
Reply to  Querty

Just like the last Zonda…

BunkyTheMelon
BunkyTheMelon
21 days ago

For the discerning billionaire, I present a 20+ year old Volkswagen engine that will surely be a nightmare to live with.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
21 days ago
Reply to  BunkyTheMelon

Why not have two? Just smush them together.

Besides if you are daily driving this thing, you’re not really a billionaire.

AlfaWhiz
AlfaWhiz
21 days ago

Front looks cool, but I don’t get the rear end treatment. It registers to me as a Jag/Mercedes mashup. That said no one will care and it will sell like cupcakes anyways.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
21 days ago
Reply to  AlfaWhiz

Well, only 16 to sell, so probably not that much of an ask…

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