I don't care who you ask; when it comes to internal combustion engine layouts, the V12 is king. Unfortunately, for most automakers around the world, the king is dead -- but not at BMW, at least for a few more years.
According to a report published Wednesday by TopGear.com, BMW's head of powertrain development, Michael Bayer said that the company's current-generation turbocharged V12 would be around until at least 2023.
The V12 engine is currently used to power the current 760i xDrive, and it's pretty great. It makes a buttery-smooth 577 horsepower (down from 602, due to emissions changes) and 590 pound-feet of torque. It's everything you'd want in a giant luxo-barge, and apparently, BMW's customers agree. BMW is at maximum production on the V12.
The V12 is having a tough time in general, thanks to the increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions standards found in countries around the world. These tightening restrictions have caused even Mercedes-Benz -- formerly the world's foremost producer of V12 powerplants -- to call it quits on the format, saying that the current generation of V12 AMG S600 and S65s would be its last.
Don't get me wrong; the current generation of Bimmer's turbocharged V8s are incredible, available in just about everything with a six-figure price tag. These turbo-terrors produce V12-like power and torque with better emissions, weight and packaging, but the way they deliver power just isn't the same.
BMW didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.