BMW Killing Off Last V12 Model?

The German automaker reportedly won’t build another V12 model when the 7 Series is refreshed.

Bad news for fans of silky-smooth 12-cylinder engines. BMW will reportedly drop its 6.6-liter N74 turbocharged V12 from the M760Li xDrive when the automaker debuts a refreshed 7 Series, expected to launch sometime in 2019. That means you have a year, give or take a few months, to get your hands on what will likely be the last 12-cylinder BMW ever produced. Fan site BMWBlog reports the engine in the 7 Series isn’t long for this world as new emissions regulations in Europe make it increasingly difficult and cost prohibitive for BMW to keep the engine compliant.

The report made no mention of whether the M760Li model itself would continue with another engine or if the N74 V12 would continue to power BMW Group’s Rolls-Royce models—Ghost, Wraith, Dawn, and the new Phantom VIII. We’ll assume they’re safe for the time being. The N74 engine is BMW’s first-ever turbocharged V12—and likely its last. BMW launched the 6.0-liter N74 in the 2009 BMW 760i and 760Li as a replacement for the non-turbo N73. In the Bimmer, it produced 536 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. At around the same time, Rolls-Royce offered a 6.6-liter version of the same engine that produced 563 hp.

In 2016, BMW gave the latest M760Li a bump in displacement to 6.6 liters, good for 602 hp, 590 lb-ft of torque, and a sprint to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The largest N74 variant is used by the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII; measuring in at 6.8 liters, the Roller twists its wheels with 664 lb-ft of torque. Those wanting to buy the last V12-powered BMW will indeed pay for the privilege. The M760Li is the most costly model in the 7 Series range with a sticker of $156,700 before delivery, taxes, and fees.

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