Here’s some entirely unsurprising but nonetheless sad news - this summer, BMW will build its last ever car powered by a V12 engine. M760Li xDrive production is due to conclude this June with ‘The Final V12’ - a US market exclusive run-out model limited to just 12 units (see what they did there?). Once those are out the door, BMW’s 12-cylinder story comes to an end.
That story can be traced back to 1987 when the German firm made its first-ever production V12. The 5.0-litre ‘M70’ provided the E38 750iL with just under 300bhp using half the camshaft and valve count of the current 6.6-litre ‘N74’. In between these two came the S70, a dual-overhead-cam 12-banger for the 850CSI which soon morphed into the S70/2 - otherwise known as the 627bhp ball of fury that powered the McLaren F1.
Today, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep such engines alive. Indeed, the M760Li was axed from BMW’s European range some time ago. The car will be going out in style in the US, at least, with each The Final V12 model getting 760M-style 20-inch wheels daubed in either Window Grey or Jet Black. You can’t get those finishes on any other 7er.
Further distinguishing the model from its lesser brethren, it’ll get “simple, bold” V12 badging at the rear. Each of the door treadplates and the engine cover will receive ‘The Final V12’ script, while on the inside BMW has lavished the cabin with ‘Individual’ piano black trim and ‘1 of 12’ commemorative plaques.
The twin-turbo V12 will provide 601bhp from 5500-6500rpm and 590lb ft of torque as low as 1500rpm, sent to all wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. 0-62mph happens in a mere 3.7 seconds, and although not specified in the press release, we should imagine the top speed will be electronically limited to 155mph.
You won’t be wanting for gadgets, with each Final V12 “offered only in a fully-equipped configuration,” BMW says. Lengthily-named spec highlights include a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound Audio System, the Luxury Rear Seating Package and a Driving Assistance Professional Package.
Once the 12 cars are built, they’ll make their way to customers by July. Each of them will also be given a “custom-built desk trophy” noting their paint and leather choices as well as the VIN. Neat!
Although this spells the end for the M760Li, BMW’s V12 will live on in the form of the 6.75-litre derivative used by Rolls-Royce. For how much longer, we can’t be sure.