Currently reading: Bentley celebrates W12 with limited-run Speed Edition 12 trim
Just 480 cars will be built with specification commemorating the famed powerplant

Bentley is commemorating the final year of production for its famed W12 engine with a special edition variant of the Bentayga, Flying Spur and Continental GT and GTC models.

Just 120 examples of each model will be built in Speed Edition 12 trim, all powered by the twin-turbocharged powerplant that produces 650bhp and 664lb ft.

They are based on the ‘blackline’ specification, which trades the polished-chrome finish around the car – on the grille and light surrounds, for example – for more subtle black paint. Alloy wheels measuring 22in are standard on each, also blacked-out, as well as ‘Edition 12’ exterior badging. 

The changes inside each car are more obvious, featuring the W12 firing order printed on the dashboard and bespoke upholstery and ‘Edition 12’ embroidery on the seats.

Each vehicle’s engine is also numbered out of 120, and owners are also given a 15%-scale model of the W12 block, cast from the same aluminium as the production cars’ powerplants.

Bentley speed edition 12 engine model

Production of the W12 will end in April 2024, with the last – and most powerful – examples of the engine bound for the ultra-limited Bentley Batur.

Thereafter, the firm will focus its efforts on its range of V6-hybrid and V8 engines, targeting the full electrification of the line-up by 2030. Bentley is also set to begin producing battery-electric cars from 2025, with one slated to arrive each year during the latter half of this decade.

Bentley has reached new heights in recent years under CEO Adrian Hallmark: the brand last week announced it recorded the second-best quarterly financial result in its history, making £189 million in pre-tax profits.

Last year, it had broken its annual profit record by the summer and went on to make £621 million.

This growth has been driven by an increase in demand for customisation through the Mulliner program, as well as for higher-specification model variants.

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Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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Just Saying 9 May 2023
What a difference a few years makes for Bentley's profitability.
I'll take all three!