It’s been reported, back in February of 2018, that BMW will discontinue production of its line of V12 engines for its performance vehicles, most notably on the M760Li xDrive. The company will instead debut a brand-new and refreshed 7 Series model, expected to debut sometime in 2019 for its next model year. What led to the company’s decision to cut such a high-performance engine out of its production line? Here at Edmonton BMW, we have the answer for you down below, along with a brief overview of the V12 engines the company’s produced in the past.
History of the V12 Engine
Since 1986, BMW has produced four different iterations of their V12 engines, starting with the M70 SOHC, which powered the McLaren F1 racer from 1993 to 1998. Afterwards came the M73, which replaced its predecessor with an increased displacement and 2-valve cylinders, used in the BMW 7 Series, 8 Series and Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. In 2003, BMW engineered the N73 which added variable valve timing (VANOS) and was capable of putting out up to 453 bhp. Finally, the latest V12 engine BMW produced comes in the form of the 6.0L N74 used in the 2009 BMW 760i and 760Li which produced 536 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Around that same time, Rolls-Royce also produced a 6.6-liter version of that same engine, and it was able to produce an incredible horsepower worth 563 hp.
The main cause of BMW discontinuing the N74 V12 engine comes directly from European legislation. Recent emissions regulations set by the European Union have made it increasingly difficult for the company to keep manufacturing these engines in cost-effective manners, resulting in tough decisions to be made. These tight environmental laws set by the EU have restricted a lot of BMW’s options up to this point, leaving them to cut out another M Performance model, once the 7 Series’ redesign becomes available for consumers.
The Future of V12 Engines
While V12 engines may not find themselves returning to any BMW models in the near future, there may be a home for them just yet. Some sources have reported that the current N74 may continue to power the Rolls-Royce Ghost, Wraith, Dawn and the brand-new Phantom VIII, thanks to the company being part of the BMW Group. However, to say that the company will continue with research and development for an N75 or a V14 engine is more fiction than fact, to say the least.
It may be the end of the road for V12 engines for BMW models, but the company’s line of M Performance models still excel in power with almost half the cylinders under the hood. Want to learn more? Take a look at some of BMW’s line of M Performance vehicles, here at Edmonton BMW.