Bentley’s Ultra Performance Hybrid succeeds the 6.0-liter W12

The twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 engine composed the soundtrack to dreams around the world once it found a home in the Bentley Continental GT, which entered a production in 2003. That engine will sing its final encore in the Bentley Batur Convertible before the curtain comes down, tuned to its highest-ever output of 739 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. The Englanders in Crewe have lifted the hood on the successor, without providing all the details. What we know for now is that the powerplant debuting this summer is called the Ultra Performance Hybrid, a V8 PHEV with “more than 750 PS combined output” and an all-electric range of 50 miles on the WLTP cycle.  

We haven’t been given a displacement figure, nor did Bentley use the word “turbo” in its release. However, looking around the Volkswagen Group, the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 PHEV in the Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid and Lamborghini Urus SE seems a solid fit for this application. We’re told to expect “the highest output ever offered in a Bentley,” Since the 740 hp in the droptop Batur equals 750 PS — achieved without electrical assistance — there’s reason to hope for something closer to 800 hp than 750. The Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid makes a combined 670 hp and 680 lb-ft, the Urus SE a combined 800 hp and 699 lb-ft. Both of them also hide a 25.9-kWh battery.

In the Bentley, the e-motors will also spread torque across a wider swath of the rev band than the non-hybrid W12. The company released a short sound clip, and yep, this things sounds like a Bentley engine, from purr to growl never leaving the basso profondo range.

The Ultra Performance Hybrid will take its place at the top of the Bentayga, Continental GT, and Flying Spur ranges before the summer ends. We find out closer to that time what happens to the other engines on the menu, the twin-turbo 4.0-liter non-hybrid V8 and the twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter and 3.0-liter V6 plug-in hybrids for the Flying Spur and Bentayga, respectively. 

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