I4. I6. V8. These are all of the engines that are in your everyday cars. Volkswagen’s W engines, although not entirely common, are supremely beautiful. Offering a W8, a W12, and even a W16, the W engines have been in use since 2001.
Volkswagen first offered the W8 in the B5.5 Passat from 2001 to 2004, producing 271 horsepower from a 4.0L engine. Having to be fitted longitudinally, Volkswagen stopped using this engine because of low sales (only about 10,000 per year). Volkswagen then used a 3.6L VR6 in the redesigned 2006 Passat (B6), which was mounted transversely.
Volkswagen’s W16 engine is used primarily in the Bugatti Veyron hypercar. The W16 contains 4(!) turbochargers and 4 valves per cylinder. Weighing in at almost 900 pounds, the massive engine puts out 987 horsepower and 922 lb-ft of torque.
Most commonly seen today, however, is Volkswagen’s W12. Used in everything from the Audi A8L to the Volkswagen Phaeton, the W12 was first debuted in 2001 in the Volkswagen Nardo W12 Coupe Prototype. It was a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive car with the 6.0L W12 which pushed out 600 horsepower. In 2011, Volkswagen debuted a new 6.3L W12, now used in the Audi A8L which produces 500 horsepower. The W12 is also used in the Bentley Continental GT and Continental Flying Spur, as well as the Spyker C12. A limited-production Touareg had a W12, however, sales were only made in Europe and the Middle East.
Photos from: auto-types.com, Wikipedia and techeblog.com, respectively.