At the beginning of the year, BMW signaled the demise of its twelve-cylinder engine by announcing the M760i Final V12. Oddly enough, the US-only special edition was never actually revealed to the public, but we do know only 12 were ever made, each priced at $200,000. When the new 7 Series G70 broke cover in April, the specs sheet showed a mix of six- and eight-cylinder engines, with no V12 in sight.
As of last month, the N74 is officially no more in a BMW-badged car as M boss Frank van Meel told Dutch radio station BNR during the De Nationale Autoshow that production of the 6.6-liter engine for a BMW car has ended. The twin-turbo mill made 601 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque to push the M760i to 60 mph in as little as 3.6 seconds.
Its demise marks the end of an era as BMW has been selling a 7 Series with a V12 engine since 1987 when the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter M70 was introduced with just under 300 hp. Its demise had been written on the wall for quite some time as the German luxury marque said it was just too expensive to tweak the engine to meet stricter emissions regulations. The fact it was a low-volume powertrain didn’t help its cause either.
That said, the BMW Group still makes a V12 engine for Rolls-Royce. The N74 in its 6.75-liter specification is offered in the likes of the Ghost, Phantom, and Cullinan. While the order books for the 6.6-liter Wraith and Dawn have been closed, the Goodwood-based marque is still making these two-door models to clear out the remaining backlog. In its highest application, the V12 pushes out a mighty 624 hp in the coupe – the most powerful RR ever.
It’s only a matter of time before the N74 will be dropped altogether since the ultra-luxury British brand has already announced plans to go purely electric by 2030. In the meantime, Mercedes is still offering a V12, albeit only for its Maybach division.