12-cylinder cars are a rarity today. The new BMW M760Li xDrive is the perfect demonstration of how lucky we are to be still getting such fascinating machines in an era when classic ICE technology is constantly threatened by electromobility.
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V12 powerplants will go extinct in the near future with the advent of new electric and plug-in hybrid powering technologies. It is indeed sad to see such great technical masterpiece go to rest for eternity. BMW is one of the very last automotive constructor still offering a 12-cylinder high-end version.
The BMW M760Li xDrive marches on in the LCI generation as well, now more attractive than ever. The range-topping 7 Series displays a self-confident, muscular fascia dominated by the specific M Performance styling.
The redesigned front air intakes feature the well-known Cerium Grey, whereas the new and imposing kidney grille is also finished in the same iconic shade. The Cerium Grey paint can also be found on the exterior mirror caps as well and the hallmark hockey stick design elements.
The silhouette is dominated by the 20-inch M Performance 760 double-spoke alloy wheels, the clean detailing and straight shoulder lines. The M760Li xDrive comes with standard BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line side window ornaments.
If you prefer shinier adornments, there is also the possibility to choose the V12 Excellence version of the M760Li, which comes equipped with the Design Pure Excellence visual package and Chrome Line exterior ornaments for the side windows.
The C-pillars of the luxury limousine receive the V12 badges as to further signal the special aggregate roaring under the bonnet. At the rear end, the new BMW M760Li xDrive is powerfully defined by the muscular shoulders, the new full-LED tail lamps with the light element running across the entire width of the trunk.
Also, there are visually-dominating dual exhausts finished in Cerium Grey and the distinct M760Li xDrive lettering.
At the launch on the South African market, journalists and media gathered at the event were fortunate enough to drive the new M760Li xDrive featured in the standard M Performance guise. The 12-cylinder 7 Series was specced in the eye-catching BMW Individual Dravit Grey metallic exterior color.
Although we don’t have more relevant photos from the cabin, there is one picture depicting the basic interior individualization. The Nappa leather upholstery in Cognac tone with extended guilting was combined the Fineline wood trim for the dashboard.
The BMW Live Cockpit Professional infotainment technology is standard equipment on the M760Li xDrive. The digital gauge proudly features the M760Li emblem below the central notch.
Furthermore, the V12 emblem is as well repeated inside on the central column, next to the electronic gear selector and the iDrive controller.
Now, let’s get back a bit to the V12 masterpiece. The BMW N74 12-cylinder engine is the first turbocharged engine of its kind in the history of the constructor. It was first launched in 2008 and, according to plans, its production is scheduled to end by 2023.
Along time, the N74 unit had several variations and output variants, being used in both BMW and Rolls-Royce models.
The displacement of the engine reaches exactly 6,592 cc. The block and cylinder heads are manufactured from aluminum and the V angle reaches 60 degrees. The large-sized V12 powerplant uses bi-turbocharging technology with twin-scroll turbochargers.
Peak torque reaches a staggering 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) at 1,500 rpm. On the M760Li xDrive, the maximum output of the 6.6-liter monster reaches a massive 436 kW / 585 PS (577 hp) at 5,500 rpm.
As part of the impressive technologies channeled to create the impressive power of the 12-cylinder aggregate, there are worth mentioning the direct, high-pressure precision injection and the BiVANOS (or Double VANOS) variable valve timing.
Due to the tighter WLTP regulations, for the LCI M760Li, the N74 engine had to be fitted with a particulate filter, which in turn resulted in an output decrease from 455 kW / 610 PS (602 hp) to the current 585 PS (577 hp).
Probably, the BMW M760Li xDrive version will live on until the G11/G12 generation gets replaced by the all-new G70/G71 model series scheduled to debut in 2022. After that, the role of the once V12 flagship will be taken over by an all new fully electric range-topper, likely to be called Mi7.
Expected to appear in 2023, the new electric high-end 7 Series will allegedly boast a state-of-the-art electric powertrain capable of developing a peak output of over 650 PS (641 hp).
It is sad to see such a great marvel of engineering discontinued, even if the costs of development for keeping the V12 engine compliant with the strict emission standards are very high, also adding the fact that 12-cylinder models cater to a very select audience.
Not to mention the purchase price, which in Germany starts from over EUR 175,000. Electrification is the way to go, but we should still cherish the years we still have until the M760Li xDrive V12 model goes extinct.
So, let’s see how the V12 7 Series looks like in a gallery of special photos from the South African market launch. Enjoy!