The end is near for the BMW V12 engine. Introduced in 1987 under the hood of the revolutionary E32 7 Series, the next-generation Seven will be the first since the original E23 to be offered without a V12. To give things a proper send off, BMW is introducing a limited-production version of the 7 Series called the M760i Final V12, and they’re only going to make—you guessed it—twelve of them for the U.S. market.
The history of the BMW V12 dates back to the mid-1980s, and if you’re interested in learning about how it evolved from the five-liter, 295-horsepower M70 to the current twin-turbocharged and direct-injected 6.6-liter N74 with 600 horsepower, look no further than our breakdown of the entire lineage. Within the last few years, tightening emissions regulations, the performance of electric vehicles, and the current BMW V8 have indicated that the V12 wouldn’t be around beyond 2023. More recent confirmation came in 2020, when BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said the highest-performing version of the next-generation 7 Series will be powered exclusively by electricity. Further evidence can be found in the output of the current N74B66TU V12 engine, which makes slightly less horsepower than certain versions of its original design, but more torque.
Production of the BMW M760i Final V12 is scheduled for June of this year, and the model will come with an MSRP of $200,995 including destination. Exclusive parts and treatments include twenty-inch M double-spoke wheels in either Window Grey or Jet Black with burnished accents, a center console-mounted plaque displaying “The Final V12” and the vehicle’s production sequence out of twelve, matching door sill trim, a special engine cover, and a V12 badge which replaces the M760i badge on the trunk lid. Some kind of commemorative gift customized specifically for the customer’s vehicle is also part of the offering—could it perhaps be a scale model?
Any BMW Individual paint color can be specified for the outside, while interior upholstery can be given the same treatment with a choice of any BMW Individual full Merino leather tone. Additional notable equipment includes BMW Individual Piano Black interior trim, M Sport brakes with calipers painted either blue or black, the driving assistance professional package, the luxury rear seating package, the panoramic sky lounge LED interior roof, remote control parking, extended Shadowline exterior trim, adaptive LED headlights with laser light, and the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system.
If you want one, you’re probably already too late. BMW is only approaching customers with a long history of V12 7 Series ownership through their preferred BMW centers, which means all twelve BMW M760i Final V12 editions are likely to be spoken for long before their July 2022 delivery dates.
The BMW V12 will most certainly be missed, but the fact that the current Alpina B7 outperforms the V12 flagship by a respectable margin stands as undeniable proof that the automotive landscape is changing.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]