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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Audi's W12 To Have Its Last Hurrah in New A8

      Good-bye A8 W12, we hardly knew you

    Audi is one of the few brands that offers a 12-cylinder engine in the form of the A8 W12. But after this new-generation A8, the W12 will be no more for the four rings. 

    “We will not have the 12-cylinder forever. There are customers who really want the 12-cylinder and they are happy with it and are going to get it. But this is going to be the last installation,” said  Peter Mertens, Audi’s R&D boss.

    This decision won't affect the U.S. since Audi retired the W12 in 2017.

    The W12 engine has only been modest seller since it was launched in 2011 for Europe and Asia, and in 2005 for the U.S.

    Bentley will continue to use the W12 in the Bentayga and Continental GT. 

    Possibly on the cutting block is Audi's 5.2L V10 engine used in the R8. Various reports say Audi is working on a twin-turbo V6 for their supercar, which would likely divert a lot of the demand for the more expensive V10.

    Source: Car and Driver

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    This makes sense as Europe and Asian have the hated, disgusting displacement tax. As we move towards a EV / Hybrid World, the days of W12, V12, V10, and even the V8 will dwindle sadly enough.

    It was interesting to see and hear so many auto's screaming to go up the pass this weekend to ski. My escalade held at 70 mph at 2500 rpm and you had mini vans to various Subarus and other auto's that you could hear with the window down that they clearly were around 5,000 to 7,000 RPM to keep up at the same speed or at least it sounded like that and even they most could not keep up with me. Hard to replace displacement / Torque of large engines when going up grade.

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    12 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    12 and 10 cylinder will be the first to go, V8 sales are shrinking by the year.  I think V8s will hold on until the day the gas engine dies.

    I agree that the 12 & 10 cylinder engines will probably be gone by 2025 to 2030 and the V8 & V6 will end up going by 2050 with the only possible engines left will be small 4 bangers as generators in Hybrids.

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    2 hours ago, dfelt said:

    I agree that the 12 & 10 cylinder engines will probably be gone by 2025 to 2030 and the V8 & V6 will end up going by 2050 with the only possible engines left will be small 4 bangers as generators in Hybrids.

    There probably won't even be a 4-cylinder in 20250.

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    10 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    There probably won't even be a 4-cylinder in 20250.

    I would hope we would have not ICE in 20250, There should be the age of Star Wars or at least Star Trek! :P 

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    I honestly wonder why did they make a W12 rather than a V12.  A V12 is the smoothest engine ever made and yet VW went for the W12, as if they wanted to join two VR6 engines together and see how it worked out.

    As for the death of the ICE, unless there are enough rare earth metals to make batteries large enough to replace ALL THE CARS on planet Earth, I think that the ICE has a few decades left.  The V12/V10/W12 will probably disappear by the end of this decade.  There should still be a few V8 and V6 engines until 2040 at least, and probably a 4-cylinder and 3-cylinder well past midcentury.  As for 2100, by then the ICE will be as important to them as the horse buggy is for us.

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    • Well, a V-16 is smoother than a V-12, but yeah. ;)

    • A W-12 is still a V-12, just that each bank of cylinders is slightly splayed from a common centerline. They're still on a singular crankshaft, it's just a way to build a physically shorter block by 'overlapping' the bores.

    • Internal combustion DEFINITELY has many decades left. Unless there's a strict nation-wide ban (which isn't going to happen), the market share penetration of EVs / PHEVs has been dismal. 199K last year out of 17.25 MILLION, and the hybrid prius came out 21 years ago! Somehow, people seem to think EVs are going to be over 50% of new vehicle sales in 10 years or something- it's not remotely realistic.

    Edited by balthazar
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