Future of the V12-powered BMW 7-Series still undecided — Could this be the end of V12 Bimmers?

Although there’s a myriad of good reasons to avoid a V12 engine when buying a luxury barge, let’s face it — you want all twelve cylinders. Thanks to the way internal combustion works, they have a silky-smoothness that just can’t be matched by smaller power plants. However, because of the price premium they command, combined with the recent importance of fuel efficiency, the V12’s popularity has been dwindling. As a result, BMW says they’re not certain the next-generation 7-Series will have a 12-cylinder option.

The first V12 7-Series appeared back in 1987, in the form of the second-generation 750i. Since then, every generation has had a 12-banger in the range. The current V12 model is the flagship 760Li. All of them have been massive, luxurious, and appropriately expensive.

Trouble is, the original 750i accounted for one in six 7-Series’ sold around the world. The 760Li, on the other hand, has grown into a niche vehicle bought by a handful of customers, with the rest opting for cheaper and more efficient models. Although low-volume sales allow the 760Li to avoid the wrath of fuel economy regulations, they also make it more and more difficult to justify financially.

So, things look pretty grim for the V12-powered BMW. However, BMW Australia’s product and pricing manager Christoph Priemel says that “[t]he V12 is just the ultimate 7-Series in a certain way, and there will all the time be a particular customer base specifically wanting the prestige and the heritage of the car.” Moreover, with the next 7-Series due in 2016, BMW will be looking to one of their major competitors to help make a decision — the Mercedes S-Class. The next S-Class is set to launch two to three years earlier, giving BMW plenty of time to see where Mercedes goes with their flagship limo and react accordingly. Here’s hoping the V12 sticks around in the world of luxury!

Source: Car Advice | Image Credit: BMW

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