Skip to main content

It might be ramping up its pursuit of electric performance, but BMW remains devoted to internal combustion. However, while it continues to preach the fossil-fuel gospel, the German automaker is about to lose one of its disciples. Tighter emissions regulations mean that the venerable BMW V12 must go. And BMW is sending it off in style with a special M760i sedan.

After 35 years of smooth speed and supercar power, it’s time for the BMW V12 to go

The McLaren F1 6.1-liter BMW M S70/2 V12
McLaren F1 6.1-liter BMW M V12 | BMW

Although BMW wasn’t the first automaker with a production V12, it was the first post-war German brand to launch such an engine. However, that ‘M70’ engine was BMW’s first-ever V12. And the company’s current V12 is leaving in a 7 Series is because the M70 launched in a 7 Series back in 1987. Specifically, the first 750iL.

While a luxury car seems an odd recipient for a V12 heart, BMW’s reasoning was sound. V12s aren’t just powerful, they’re also extremely smooth, both in operation and power delivery. Even by modern standards, the V12 version of the E38 7 Series is exhilaratingly quick and refined. However, it wasn’t the 7 Series that enshrined the BMW V12 in enthusiast lore. That would be the other cars that sang this Bavarian 12-cylinder song.

Shortly after its debut, BMW put the M70 in the original 8 Series, making it the first V12 road car with a six-speed manual. It then developed the S70 engine series, which it tested using an E34 M5 Touring mule. That development work paid off because McLaren used the 6.1-liter BMW S70/2 V12 to power the legendary F1 supercar. And after supplying engines for McLaren, BMW tested the performance SUV waters by putting that 700-plus-horsepower S70/2 in a 2000 X5, The Drive reports. This was essentially an X5 M preview, and it still runs and drives.

Since then, BMW has continuously improved its V12 engine. And if you doubt the current N74 V12’s smoothness, know that it’s in every modern Rolls-Royce car, not just the Ghost.

Unfortunately, refinement can’t overcome emissions regulations. And now that the current-gen 7 Series is on its way out, so is the V12, The Drive says. But there’s still time for one last hurrah.

‘The Final V12’ 2022 BMW M760i xDrive is a subtle 12-cylinder swan song

The rear 3/4 view of a dark-gray 2022 BMW M760i xDrive
2022 BMW M760i xDrive rear 3/4 | BMW
2022 BMW M760i xDrive
Engine6.6-liter twin-turbocharged ‘N74’ V12
Horsepower600 hp
Torque627 lb-ft
TransmissionEight-speed automatic
Curb weight5159 lbs
0-60 mph time3.6 seconds

Fittingly for a curtain call, BMW calls its limited-edition M760i xDrive ‘the Final V12.’ Mechanically, it’s identical to the standard 2022 M760i. And in keeping with the engine’s original goal of subtly, the Final V12 7 Series looks little different at first glance.

However, there are some visual differences between this limited-edition BMW M760i and the regular version. The biggest is the lack of an ‘M760i’ badge; it’s replaced with a ‘V12’ one. In addition, the sedan rides on specially-prepped 20” alloy wheels painted grey or black, then burnished with silver highlights. You’ll find M Sport brakes behind those wheels, with the calipers painted blue or black, buyer’s pick. The sedan also has several commemorative plaques studded throughout, including on the center console, door sills, and engine cover.

Furthermore, the Final V12 M760i xDrive is basically a full-loaded 2022 7 Series. Literally, it has every option available, including a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond audio system, Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof, full ADAS suite, the Luxury Rear Seating Package, and full Merino leather. Also, buyers can spec a specific exterior shade and leather color via BMW’s Individual program. These choices will also be present in the ‘desk trophy’ Final V12 customers receive with their BMW M760i.

Get in line, because these limited-edition M760i xDrives will go fast

Keeping with the ‘12’ theme for this limited-edition, BMW is only making 12 M760i xDrive Final V12s for the US. And they aren’t cheap. A standard 2022 M760i starts at $157,8000; a Final V12, though, costs $200,000 before destination. That’s about $14,500 more than a regular fully-loaded M760i, The Drive notes.

Still, this is your last chance to get a brand-new BMW V12. As final chapters go, a 12-cylinder send-off is pretty special.

Follow more updates from MotorBiscuit on our Facebook page.


Audi TT RS Says ‘so Long, Farewell’ With 2022 Heritage Edition