BMW will no longer make use of the massive V12 engine that powers the top-end 7 series after the current generation.
Typically, V12 engines are almost exclusively limited to ludicrously powerful supercars or ridiculously high-end luxury sedans. One of those big mills just happens to power the BMW M760i and most of the Rolls-Royce fleet.
And it’s apparently not long for this world. In an interview with BMW M Performance Division CEO Markus Flasch, Autoblog reports that the company is embracing an electric future and the era of huge gas engines with tons of cylinders will soon be over.
Autoblog sat down with Flasch at the New Jersey launch of the X3 and X4 M performance crossovers. While the conversation mostly centered around how BMW is embracing electrification, Flasch was asked point blank just what exactly would happen to the largest engines in BMW’s lineup.
"Beyond what we have, I don't believe we will see a new twelve-cylinder model in the foreseeable future,” said Flash, confirming earlier reports that the V12 would not be replaced after the current generation.
The 6.6-L twin-turbo V12 currently powers the BMW M760i luxury performance sedan, along with the Rolls-Royce Wraith, Ghost, and Dawn. A larger 6.8-L version powers the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII and Cullinan SUV. in any of those applications, the V12 isn’t exactly known for its great gas mileage or low emissions.
That could be a big reason why BMW won’t be making a new one once the current generation of vehicles gets put out to pasture. Electrified powertrains would also allow for far better performance at a similar weight with the addition of a few electric motors and a battery, making the big V12 obsolete.
Flasch also noted that diesel technology still has a lot to offer, but the current political climate (especially in Europe) is against diesel vehicles due to their reputation for producing urban smog.
He also said that BMW is currently looking at all forms of electrification, including plug-in hybrids, mild-hybrids, and fully electric vehicles. The M Division will always focus on performance, however, including both straight line and in the corners.
Check out Autoblog’s full interview to see where exactly BMW is heading with all this.