BMW’s well publicised axing of its V12 engine is reportedly set to occur earlier than initially expected. According to Bimmer Today, the 430kW/850Nm bi-turbocharged 6.6-litre bent-twelve used in the M760Li will officially cease to exist in the European autumn of this year with no direct successor planned.
Its future in doubt since 2018 when reports first emerged, BMW’s Head of Research and Development, Klaus Fröhlich, earlier this year alluded to the end of the V12 in response not only Munich’s switch towards electrification, but also of the engine’s inability to meet ever more stringent emissions regulations on the Old Continent.
“The V12 may not have a future given that we only produce a few thousand units each year and the several thousand euros of added cost it takes to make them compliant with stricter emissions rules,” Fröhlich said.
“When it comes to the V8, it’s already difficult to create a strong business case to keep it alive given that we have a six-cylinder high-powered plug-in hybrid unit that delivers 441 kilowatts of power and enough torque to destroy many transmissions”.
In an official statement delivered two months ago, BMW Chairman Oliver Zipse, while speaking about the brand’s path forward, effectively signalled the end of the V12 after confirming that new flagship 7 Series, slated to be called i7, would be all-electric in a range also comprising of petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains.
Already seen undergoing final testing on numerous online platforms, the new 7 Series, known internally as the G70, is set to debut towards the middle or end of this year with sales likely to commence in 2021.