Despite the current trend of downsizing and the introduction of the all-new V8 engine, Bentley is determined to continue the development of their W12 engine. Bentley’s technical director Ralf Frech said to What Car?:
The W12 can have the same improvements as the new V8. Fitted to the Continental range it could see improvements to fuel economy and power, possibly taking it close to 600bhp.
Insiders suggest that Bentley engineers are working on an eight-speed auto gearbox to replace the current six-speeder. Frech also mentioned that Bentley is considering hybrid technology for its cars:
We are looking at the possibility of a hybrid, particularly a plug-in hybrid, but we are waiting for the next generation of technologies because none of the current solutions work.
The Mulsanne luxury limo and forthcoming SUV are likely to be the first to have a hybrid option.