There aren’t a lot of companies still producing V12 engines. And it looks like there may soon be one less.
According to the BMW Blog, the Bavarian automaker is preparing to pull the plug on the 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 in the M760Li. The reason apparently comes down to restricting emissions regulations – the same development that’s causing the demise of the M550i.
BMW is reportedly working on installing diesel-style particulate filters on many of its higher-polluting engines. However the measure may not be enough to save the twelve-cylinder engine, which may not make it into the next-generation 7 Series.
We can only hope that the engineers in Bavaria will figure out a solution and give the V12 a new lease on life. But if they don’t, the M760Li is currently the only BMW to use the engine – and looks like it could be the last.
It may not be the end of the line for the engine altogether, though. Those in the know will point out that the same engine forms the basis for the powertrain in the Rolls-Royce Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn. Perhaps whatever solution is reached for Goodwood’s products will help BMW’s flagship sedan as well, but the M760Li’s position may prove hard to justify when Alpina gets the same level of output and performance out of a smaller V8 in the B7.
Currently BMW and Rolls-Royce rank among the few automakers still producing twelve-cylinder engines. Ferrari and Lamborghini have their own, while Bentley is the most prolific with its W12 engine. Mercedes also makes V12s, with its engines serving as the basis for motivation in the latest from Aston Martin and Pagani as well.