2020 could be the last year for BMW's V12 engine
It's been reported that there's no direct successor planned for the M760i, BMW's only V12-powered car
It used to be the case that if you wanted the ultimate luxury saloon, you'd get something that had a V12 under the hood. That was definitely the case in the 90s and 00s where you could get a V12 in multiple BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar models (including the rare and venerated Daimler Double Six). Sure, you could have the glorious naturally-aspirated V8 of cars like the Mercedes S55 AMG, but if you wanted true opulent luxury only the incredible refinement and seamless power of a V12 would do. Now it seems the era of the V12 has finally come to an end as Bimmer Today has reported that BMW will be discontinuing it's only V12-powered model left, the M760i, in 2020 with no direct replacement planned.
Will the sight of this huge V12 be a thing of the past forever? (Image: BMW)
If it is true that the M760i is going to be scrapped after this year, that would make the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Rolls-Royce Ghost the only V12-engined luxury cars on sale (Bentley does offer a 12-cylinder engine, but it's a W12 not a V12). This would make them potentially the last V12-engined sedans on sale ever, as ever-tighter European emissions regulations will mean that manufacturers will opt for turbocharged engines with less cylinders and smaller capacities, use hybridisation or even ditch internal combustion completely in favour of fully electric drivetrains powered by batteries and/or hydrogen fuel cells. It's a very odd and almost somewhat sad state of affairs. It'll likely be good news though for people who own these now incredibly rare V12 luxury barges as they'll very likely become collectors' pieces, making their values rise up to almost insane amounts.
Whilst the future of the V12 in BMW's 7 series lineup is still very much unclear, they have confirmed that the next generation of the 7 series will have petrol, plug-in hybrid and fully electric drivetrains. The fully electric model will be the most powerful, with a projected power output of over 600 hp and a 0-60 time of under 3.6 seconds. The V12 may be on its way to the scrapyard, but lighting-fast and effortlessly smooth luxury isn't going to be going away any time soon!