Goodbye Bentley W12: Last taste of one of Britain's best engines

Its development was stringent. Tests included 100 hours straight at full throttle and a deep thermal shock test in which it was run at full power to a coolant temperature of 100deg C before being shut down, flushed with -30deg C coolant and then run straight back up to 110deg C no fewer than 400 times.

The engine has three separate cooling circuits and two separate exhaust assemblies, while its management system has some 42,000 parameters.

Fuel-saving technology includes efficient twin-scroll turbochargers and cylinder-deactivation technology that on six cylinders shuts down the intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection and ignition below 3000rpm and 221lb ft in third to eighth gear.

By the time production ends, more than 105,000 examples of the W12 will have been built at Crewe – more than any other 12-cylinder engine in the modern era. The total output of those engines will be more than six million horsepower.

An insight into the world of whisky

macallan distillery

Macallan is the Bentley of whisky makers, so they tell me, and from the evidence I’ve seen, I will gladly take their word for it. It is 200 years old this year, and on its 458-acre estate opened a new distillery in 2018 and a year later a visitor centre that’s a cross between a Bond villain’s lair and the Willy Wonka factory.

The distillery houses 36 stills that make 12 million litres of spirit a year. Just a dozen of the 270 people working at Macallan are responsible for making the 63.5%-proof spirit that provides 20% of the flavour of the whisky (it can only become a Scotch whisky if it has sat in an oak cask for more than three years), the rest coming from the sherry-seasoned casks. At any one time, 450,000-plus casks sit on the Macallan Estate, some of them as many as 81 years old.

It turns out that the world of high-end whisky has plenty in common with the upper echelons of the automotive one. There are issues around counterfeiting that require constant developments in the cap and seal used on bottles for security and there are speculators who will buy rare, limited-run whiskies from Macallan and then flip them.

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