BMW's V12 engines will soldier on for a few more years, report says

In a world where elephantine V12s are going extinct on the regular, BMW can't make enough of its turbo-zwolfs to satisfy customer demand.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
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There is something special about a V12-powered luxury sedan that goes beyond just having four extra cylinders and we're glad BMW is keeping the tradition alive.


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.

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