Bugatti, Bentley, Audi and the own Volkswagen are convinced that the engines in the W are the best bet when it comes to discussing high-performance. A configuration unique, rare even, but hiding a design and ideals very concrete that have been allowed to speak of three settings as different as the Passat driven by an eight-cylinder, the rebirth of a brand as Bentley around a single propeller, or the still more impossible sixteen cylinders signed by a Bugatti records. Why? why the great companies of the Volkswagen Group pay homage to the engines W?
The thruster design W not invented the Volkswagen Group, much less. we Talk about a design that in its original configuration dates from the early TWENTIETH century for use in aviation. The concept of modern design, that which occupies the pairs of blocks on a single crankshaft, dating back to 1937, under the seal of the Allison. Currently, the motors in W are used exclusively by Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley and Bugatti, having to go back to the prototype Audi Avus quattro and vw W12 Nardo to see the first steps of the group on these engines.
More of a practical resource than a technical challenge, the engines in the W they have become a showcase for the Volkswagen Group
Was under the command of Ferdinand Piech when the idea of going up a step further uncovered the need to rub shoulders with the powerful V12 that cheered them to larger sedans and sports from Mercedes and BMW. There was a need, although the time and cost to develop a mechanical twelve-cylinder V-made it unfeasible to meet this challenge. So, the engineers of Volkswagen have thought of a solution that would reduce costs, need for space and, in addition, successfully opening the door for a modular design with which to give wings to brands recently acquired as Bentley and Bugatti. But still there was more, and it’s that Volkswagen got the even more impossible by putting it on the market models of all-wheel drive with engines twelve-cylinder without compromising the passenger compartment, something only possible thanks to the compact design of the architecture W.
The Volkswagen Passat W8 was the first great experiment with the design W, it was a block that I had to respond to the space requirements imposed by the engine bay of the Passat, a small vain designed to withstand four-cylinder engines in the longitudinal position. In this way, on the basis of a design-cylinder, in-VR4, meant that the Passat would give a fist on the table reaching the 275 HP with 4 liters of gasoline, was not the best eight-cylinder performance and fuel consumption, but Volkswagen had its first eight-cylinder in-own. The commercial success was low, only about 10,000 units sold, although at the level of the image itself that got its purpose.
Volkswagen came to merge up to three engines VR6 for the life of the engine W18 that animated the first concepts of the Bugatti modern
But the first great success of the engines in the W of the Volkswagen Group came with the development of its first twelve-cylinder. In the plans for the brand were the Audi A8, Volkswagen Phaeton and Bentley Continental GT and Flying Spur, a car in which he was forced to install a twelve-cylinder engine, however this had to be done designing a block very compact in dimensions and weight. In this way, the idea was not other that resorting to the characteristic VR6 brand with benches of 15 degrees and a single cylinder head. by Joining two of these engines VR6 was a block similar in volume to a V8, to harbor twelve-cylinder and dramatically reducing the cost of development.
The W12 engine has evolved up to our days, until you reach 635 HP of maximum power in its last iteration for the Bentley Continental GT 2015. Even so, versions of this engine are extremely varied, finding displacements of 6 to 6.3 liters, aspirated, or configuration, Twin-Turbo, lubrication, wet or dry sump and disconnect selective-cylinder in its latest evolution. Engine W12 have rope for a while, in fact there is the commitment on the part of the German group to become one of the last to continue selling engines with twelve cylinders, while now its production is located in the engine plant of Bentley at Crewe at a rate of up to 9,000 units/year.
Despite having complex heads to parallel rows of cylinders, the engines W only have 4 camshafts
The Bugatti Veyron and its engine W16 has been and will be the largest showcase of the Know-How of Volkswagen in the design of propellers. We speak of a propeller, born from the union longitudinal twin engine W8 at an angle of 90 ° between benches, which leads to a displacement 7.993 cubic centimeters. This engine was designed to be supercharged from the beginning, finding a turbo for each four-cylinder. At the same time each bank has an intercooler, dedicated and a motor drive to manage each bank. The motor W16 has a length very similar to that of the V12 competition, something crucial if we understand that the Bugatti Veyron was required to install a motor in central position, a place where it would be impossible to install 16 cylinders in banks of eight in a row.
But there is technical advantage in the use of the engines W?
Nor softness, nor the ability of the rotation, the thrusters W12 are better than the V12. Its qualities are other.
The real answer is that not if we focus on the data and specifications of its construction. The first thing to keep in mind is that we talk about engines almost square in the case of the W8 and W12, that is to say, the piston stroke remains greater than the diameter of the own piston, in the case of the W16 yes that we talk about engines square 86 x 86 mm. With this design, Volkswagen produced a propeller that has never been a prodigy on the rise of turns – ceilings turn around at the 6,000 laps -, giving priority to the development of a curve of constant torque and a good balanced that will allow these motors to be measured with the smoothness of the engines in V.
Reduced size, weight adjusted and forceful response. The continuity of the motor W is defended by 50% for practical issues, leaving the other 50% in the hands of the marketing of being unique in something which is so characteristic
In practice, the motors in W is characterized by a very mechanical, are not as smooth or progressive as the designs in V, but do provide a response more strongly than the latter. The lack of this softness is due in large part to the offset of the crankpins where they sit the cranks, forcing you to deal with forces not so well balanced. The motors in W do not share journal such as happens in the V-engines, each journal of the crankshaft is split in two due to the positioning of each cylinder with respect to its base. With identical power that a V12 engine, every 60°, the W12 engine does not have that refined operation.
The W12 is the engine that has evolved with the passage of time in this saga, polishing defects such as the inertia of your crankshaft, the shortage of torque or high consumptions of the first generations. In Volkswagen have converted the W12 engine in a benchmark for elasticity and reliability, allowing the engine to rotate from far below to high doses of par, and with virtually zero vibration, although hundas the foot on the throttle at very low revs, and all of this with a response far removed from the docility typical of the engines in V. This is the identity of the motor W of Volkswagen, and therefore, it is the identity that best defines the Bentley or Bugatti modern.
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