BMW hasn’t had much use for V12 engines over the past few years. With modern turbocharging and even electrification, it’s been easy to make the same, if not superior, power figures from a much smaller displacement turbocharged V8. Still, there’s something about a V12 that’s just so endearing, which is why it’s stuck around for these years. However, even its silky-smooth charm won’t be able to keep it around forever, which is why the BMW V12 is likely dead after this generation.
During a recent interview with Autoblog (which we spoke about yesterday), BMW M CEO Markus Flasch was asked if the BMW V12 had any life in it.
“Beyond what we have, I don’t believe we will see a new twelve-cylinder model in the foreseeable future.” said Flasch.
That might be sad news to a lot of BMW enthusiasts. After all, BMW does have some incredible V12s in its history, including the simply awesome BMW 850 CSi, which had a V12 engine and a six-speed manual gearbox. However, any realistic car enthusiast understands that any engine bigger than eight-cylinders is doomed. Emissions restrictions and the need to save the planet are going to take big, gas-sucking engines away.
Another reason for the lack of BMW V12 is Rolls Royce. After this generation of Rolls Royce Ghost, the famed British luxury brand will no longer be using BMW engines. Rolls created its own twin-turbocharged V12 for the new Phantom and Cullinan and no longer uses a BMW V12. So once Rolls no longer needs the big engine, there’s really no need for BMW to develop one. The only car in BMW’s lineup that uses a V12 is the M760i and that sells in far too few of numbers to warrant continue twelve-cylinder development.
We’ll all miss the BMW V12, as the brand has long had a history of making creamy-smooth twelve-pot engines. However, its demise will only be a sign of changing times and change is exciting. The addition of electrification, either to enhance internal combustion or to act on its own, has made the V12 obsolete. The main benefit of the V12 was its smooth, effortless power delivery. Nothing is smoother or more effortless than electric power. So as the BMW V12 dies off, we’ll be gaining electrified Bimmers with smoother, more instantaneous torque. So as a legend dies, a new era is ushered in and it should be a better one.