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A W12 engine is a motor with 12 pistons and cylinders configured on the block to form a "W" shape. Some engines contain four banks of three cylinders, while others have three banks containing four cylinders. A single crankshaft operates the pistons. They are common in high-performance and luxury model vehicles such as those from Bentley, Audi, Spyker and Volkswagen.
A W12 engine, simply speaking, is two V6 engines merged into a single unit with 12 uniquely placed cylinders. Each cylinder banks slightly offsets (60 degrees common) the other. Almost all W12 motors have two exhaust systems, one for each block of cylinders.
While a W12 engine operates relatively the same as V-type motors, they are more compact and more efficient. Most W12s are known for their sound structures and significantly reduced vibration levels. They are capable of producing a high amount of power while simultaneously running very smoothly. Some W12 engines also have optimum valve placement, with valves placed on the top of their combustion chambers. This adds to compactability and surprising fuel efficiency.
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