BMW confirms end of V12 with limited M760i

A special edition 7 Series will be the final production BMW with a V12 in it – sob

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, January 19, 2022 / Loading comments

BMW probably won’t be best pleased that in a story ostensibly about a 7 Series, the images feature an 8 Series that was never made. But with the end of its V12 engines in sight, it’s hard not to wistfully remember those icons of the past. The M8 prototype was powered by a 6.1-litre, 600hp S70/1 V12, itself an extensive Paul Rosche-led overhaul of the M70 – BMW’s first V12, launched in 1987. Depending on where you read it, some bits of the S70/1 aided development of the S70/2 V12, also known as the McLaren F1’s 6.1-litre engine – perhaps the greatest combustion engine ever made. So, when BMW calls a day on V12s, it’s pretty momentous news. In part thanks to an M8 it never made and an era-defining supercar from McLaren…

But that’s doing BMW V12s a disservice, because other 12-cylinder engines have provided power for some truly serene 7 Series flagships for 30 years – and some Rolls-Royces, let’s not forget. Therefore, however inevitable the demise of the V12 BMW may be (there hasn’t been a 7 Series with more than eight cylinders for a little while in the UK, and you don’t need telling what comes next), it’s no less sad for its predictability.

The final V12 BMWs will be sold in the USA; appropriately enough there will be just a dozen, all based on the mighty M760i xDrive, and they’ll be set apart by “unique badging, wheels, and a choice from the vast collection of exterior colours and upholstery offered by BMW Individual.” (No full images have been released yet, so it’s a standard M760i in the pics.)

Nobody inside or out is going to be in any doubt about the significance of this 7 Series, that’s for sure: a ‘1 OF 12’ plaque will feature, ‘THE FINAL V12’ is going on the sills, a “bold ‘V12’ icon” will sit on the rump and – get this – each customer will also get “a custom-built desk trophy to commemorate their specific vehicle.” Which will probably sit next to their golf trophies and ‘Powerfully Built Company Director of the Year’ awards. A 7 Series is typically quite subtle, but there’s no way this sort of occasion was going to pass without some embellishment.

Those expecting a wild, 800hp send-off for the BMW V12 will be disappointed, as these last-of-the-line 7 Series are mechanically identical to the normal M760s. Still, that means more than 600hp from a twin-turbo 6.6 (or twice that of the first E32-era 750iL V12 from the late 80s), and the ability to reach 60mph in just 3.6 seconds. Nobody is going to feel short changed.

That said, securing a Final V12 won’t come cheap – it’s $200k, or about £147,000 at the current exchange rate. BMW says production will begin in June ahead of July deliveries. Customers will have to hope, however, that the special edition doesn’t depreciate in the way V12 7 Series are notorious for. If confirmation of no more V12s is just the nudge to the classifieds you need, this M760i xDrive is £54,000 after just 30,000 miles of use. The RRP in 2017, before options, was £132,310…

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