Engine downsizing has many wondering about the fate of some high-performance motor applications in luxury and super high-end vehicles. Case in point, what will happen to BMW's twin-turbocharged V12 as the company pushes for hybridization and electrification, while simplifying its engine lineup to pay for those initiatives? But if you're a fan of Munich's svelte V12, rest assured, it won't be phased out over electrification, hybridization, or stricter emissions. At least, for now. According to Top Gear, BMW plans to keep its forced-induced 12-cylinder in production up through 2023.
This comes as an interesting development after BMW's arch rival, Mercedes-Benz and its AMG branch, announced last month it would be phasing out its 12-cylinder-powered luxo-barges after the current generation.
Currently, BMW still produces a 12-cylinder for its flagship 760Li and high-performance M760Li sedans, an engine called the N74. That will continue due to strong demand in markets such as the Middle East and Asia. Despite incredibly huge taxes on large-displacement motors as an attempt curb air pollution, the wealthy tend to view V12-equipped models as more of a status symbol and often wouldn't be caught dead in anything less. And thus, they have no problem peeling off the dough to get one in their carpark.
That same V12 also serves duty in the majority of Rolls-Royce's lineup.
"We will keep [the V12] for the rest of this generation at least, until 2023," Michael Bayer, head of 7 Series powertrain development, told Top Gear at the global launch of the next-generation model.
As governmental regulatory bodies continue revising emissions and fuel economy requirements, automakers are feeling the pressure to produce smaller, more efficient forced-induced engines. But according to Bayer, BMW will be able to finesse its 6.0-liter N74 V12 to comply with emissions and fuel economy mandates for the time being.
BMW has fallen victim to engine downsizing, with some of its former lower-specification naturally-aspirated inline-sixes being replaced by high-output turbocharged four-cylinders. BMW also shifted some of its engine options to allow for more accessible entry-level turbo six-cylinder motors alongside preexisting turbocharged eight-cylinder engine options on some high-end models. But for now, the V12 will remain as the flagship offering