Volkswagen Group W12 Engine
At the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, Volkswagen Group showcased a prototype Volkswagen Nardo W12 Coupé, a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive supercar powered by a 6.0 litre W12 engine, producing 600 horsepower (447 kW; 608 PS). A week before, the W12 Coupe broke the 24 hour world endurance record. A total distance of 7,085.7 kilometres (4,402.8 mi) was covered at an average speed of 295.24 kilometres per hour (183.45 mph), breaking the old record by 12 kilometres per hour (7.5 mph). Production of the W12 Coupé was considered, but was subsequently cancelled.
Volkswagen Group currently produces W12 engines. It is constructed by mating two narrow-angle 15° VR6 engines at an inclined angle of 72°. The narrow angle of each set of cylinders allows just two overhead camshafts to drive each pair of banks, so just four are needed in total. Note that this design differs from the W18 engine that Volkswagen Group produced for its Bugatti concept cars of 1998 and 1999. Due to this distinction, the Volkswagen Group's W12 engine is sometimes described as a "WR12".
The 2011 Audi A8 debuted a revised 6.3 litre version of the W12 (WR12) engine with 500 PS.
The advantage of the W12 engine is its compact packaging, allowing Audi to build a 12-cylinder sedan with all-wheel drive, whereas a conventional V12 engine could only have a rear-wheel drive configuration as it would have no space in the engine bay for a differential and other components required to power the front wheels. The 6.0L W12 in the Audi A8L W12 (only offered in the long-wheelbase models) appears slightly smaller overall than the 4.2L V8 that powers the Audi A8 4.2 variants.
The Volkswagen Group W12 engine is used in some high-end luxury models:
- Audi Avus quattro (concept version only)
- Audi A8L W12
- Bentley Continental GT
- Bentley Continental Flying Spur
- Spyker C12 La Turbie
- Spyker C12 Zagato
- Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris (prototype version only)
- Volkswagen Phaeton W12
- Volkswagen Touareg W12
- Volkswagen GTI W12-650 (prototype only)
- Volkswagen W12
The Volkswagen Group W12 Engine