File this under ‘sad, but not surprising.’
If you’re a fan, now would be a good time to pour one out in remembrance of the V12 engine. More specifically, BMW’s V12, which is still in production. It lives in the current 7 Series, and BMW will continue building it for the new model. That model will stick around until 2023, in which case BMW will likely drop the engine from its lineup.
During an in-depth interview with Autoblog, CEO Markus Flasch laid out M GmbH (otherwise known as M Division)’s strategy as well as BMW’s plan for its future models. Among those plans is a possible, even likely, decision to scrap the V12 from the brand’s lineup. It’s been a staple of the BMW 7 Series for years, and the current M760i has a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter engine with 600 horsepower.
According to CarScoops, BMW’s V12 engine has not been an unpopular one. The car reportedly sells well in the Middle East and China. What’s more, the plant that produces the engine has been at capacity since BMW introduced the M760i in 2008.
Instead, the problem has to do with emissions. As governments clamp down on large displacement engines with tighter regulations, there is less and less room for the gargantuan twelve-cylinder unit. The current engine produces 600 horsepower, but new emissions rules require more power-sapping hardware. Meanwhile, their 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine produces the same, if not more, horsepower and is cleaner on emissions.
Changes moving forward
Autoblog asked Flasch point-blank, “You are also responsible for the twelve-cylinder engine. Does it have a future?” Flasch responded, “beyond what we have, I don’t believe we will see a new twelve-cylinder model in the foreseeable future.” While BMW could hybridize the engine to make it cleaner, it seems the company may focus on boosting its smaller powertrains instead.
Still, BMW (and its tuning associates) manage plenty of firepower with a V8 engine. Case in point, the Alpina B7: