Introduced to the market in 2001 for Europe and Asia in the first-generation A8, we didn't get the W12 until 2005, in the second-gen luxo-sedan. Back then, the oddball motor built up from the the VR6 in the Volkswagen Corrado made 444 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. Today's Audi W12 stands at 585 hp and 627 lb-ft, detuned from the 633 hp and 620 lb-ft it makes in the Bentley Continental GT.
The executioner has booked a healthy bit of business at the VW Group recently, what with the coming end of the Beetle, the R8, and this application of the W12. Internal and external factors make it likely we'll be hearing that ax cleave a lot more metal, soon. The company's need to meet real-world emissions targets and the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), on top of spending on development for flashy EVs like the E-Tron GT, means slow-sellers — even halos — won't get much time to dither about. And according to C/D, the V10 could skip out before the W12 if the coming twin-turbo R8 V6 eats up all the V10's lunch.