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Mercedes' V12 engine will live on in the next-generation S-Class

It would seem that Mercedes' own reports of the V12's imminent demise were greatly exaggerated.

Mercedes' massive 6.0-liter V12 engine was set to die off with this generation of S-Class, but now we have confirmation that it will live on.

In this era of increased electrification and smaller, more efficient forced-induction engines, a big ol' V12 doesn't necessarily make a ton of sense. It's mechanically way more complicated than a V8, it's also heavier and less space-efficient without necessarily offering more in the way of power and torque, but there's just something special about it.

That almost unquantifiable specialness is why we were so bummed when Mercedes-Benz -- the world's largest producer of the V12 engine -- announced that its long-serving M279 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 would be its last, set to die with the current generation of S-Class, but it would seem that the brand is contradicting itself, because it confirmed to GTspirit during the Guangzhou Auto Show that the engine would live on in the next generation of S-Class, set to debut in 2021.

Now, it's unlikely that Mercedes-AMG (which took over as the sole developer of the Mercedes V12 in 2012) will invest heavily in an all-new V12 engine; we expect it will instead focus on improving the engine's emissions and fuel economy figures. We'd also expect to see a bump in power and torque over the current M279's 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet.

Mercedes boss Ola Källenius killed any speculation that we could look forward to a V12-powered version of the brand's recently debuted Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, which is a bummer especially since the vehicle's primary rivals -- aka the Bentley Bentayga and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan -- both are available with 12-cylinders. We'll likely just have to wait until the folks over at Brabus get around to shoe-horning one in.

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