Here I was, thumbing idly through the internet, when I hit upon an Autoblog interview with BMW CEO Markus Flasch that was published over the weekend. The interview touches upon BMW’s plans for hybrids, EVs, M-cars and then totally reminded me that BMW still actually makes a car with a V12! I had completely forgotten, instead believing BMW had ended the practice sometime during the Gulf War.
Yes, beneath the hood of a 2020 760i xDrive sedan, you can get BMW’s N74 engine: A twin-turbo, 6.6-liter V12 that’s good for 601 horsepower. It’s probably a very lazy and boat-like 601 HP, but it’s all coming from 12 cylinders nonetheless.
When asked if the 12-cylinder model has a future, Flasch responded, “Beyond what we have, I don’t believe we will see a new twelve-cylinder model in the foreseeable future.”
That’s sorta sad, but also kind of to be expected. I can’t imagine the take rate is high on the V12 7 Series, and also there are so many more efficient method of making power these days. A fat engine isn’t exactly the lightest or cheapest or most efficient way to do it.
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Earliest this year, Mercedes announced an end to the V12-powered S 65, but that probably means that a new version of the V12 is coming, not that the V12s are being killed off altogether.
But if BMW does wind up cancelling the V12, what would that mean for the Rolls-Royce models, such as the that use the Ghost, Wraith and Dawn, that also use the N74? The V12 is supposedly safe until 2023, reported Top Gear a few months ago, but it’s not really clear what will happen after that. Maybe the V12 will only go toward the Rolls models. I don’t know.
We’ve reached out to BMW for clarification on the matter and will update if we hear back.