Big Engines

Next month, Chrysler is putting its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant on hiatus for a couple of months.

Next month, Chrysler is putting its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant on hiatus for a couple of months. Conner is where the SRT Viper is built. The Viper has a 640-hp V10 engine. Not that it matters, but the EPA fuel economy is 12 city, 19 highway. And because it does matter, it has a top speed of 206 mph.

The SRT® brand kicked-off “The SRT Viper Color Contest,” an online contest that enabled Viper enthusiasts to name the new blue exterior paint color for the 2014 SRT Viper.   More than 11,000 names were submitted and the top three finalists have been chosen. Fans can vote online at to help select the winning name. In addition to becoming part of Viper history, the fan who submitted the winning name will win a trip to the 2014 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona at Daytona International Speedway. Voting for the final round of the “SRT Viper Color Contest” runs through Sunday, Nov. 10. SRT Viper

Oh, and then there’s the starting price of $99,885. That’s sort of important. And may explain why the plant is being shut down for a while.

This came to mind in relation to an announcement made last week by Bentley Motors, which is based in Crewe, UK. Bentley, which is part of Volkswagen Group, is going to be the source for all VW W12 engines. Yes, “W” and “12.” The engine as used in the Bentley Continental GT speed produces 616 hp.

Bentley W12 covered W12, Bentley application

About the designation of Bentley as the source of W12s, Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, said: “This is an important step, not just for Bentley but also for the UK manufacturing sector. This W12 centre of excellence is recognition of the long standing engine manufacturing expertise we have that has resulted in performance improvements across the model ranges over recent years. The production of this advanced engine and its future generations will bring new technologies and skills to Crewe.”

Bentley W12 build Building the W12 in Crewe

The company plans to produce as many as 9,000 of the engines per year, which are not only used in Bentley models, but in applications like the Audi A8 and the VW Phaeton.

Presumably, there is the financial wherewithal for people to lease or buy lux cars with big engines, which is not, evidently, the case when it comes to two-seaters that go like bats out of. . . .