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BMW’s V12 is 25 years Old

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Nov 14,2012

BMW’s first V-12 engine is now 25 years old. It was introduced in the 7 Series saloon. While the second-generation 7 Series arrived in 1986 with inline six-cylinder engines, the 5.0-liter V-12 was added to the option list one year later.

For the V-12 in the BMW 750i that debuted in 1987 at the Geneva Motor Show, engineers started with a clean-sheet design focusing on refinement, low NVH, as well as balancing power with fuel consumption. With its 300-hp 5.0-liter V-12 and a four-speed automatic, the 1988 BMW 750i is EPA-rated at 11/16 mpg city/highway. Today, the 2013 BMW 760Li is powered by a 535-hp 6.0-liter V-12 that’s mated to an eight-speed automatic. EPA-rated fuel economy has improved to 13/20 mpg on BMW’s twelve-cylinder four-door.

Earlier this year BMW announced the 760Li “V-12 25 Years Edition” to commemorate the V-12’s anniversary. The special-edition model gains BMW Individual Champagne full merino leather seats accented by black piping, champagne-colored Alcantara headliner, black leather pillars, piano black wood trim, rear-seat entertainment system with monitors, and badges on the door sills, headrests, and iDrive controller, as well as unique 20-inch wheels.

Today, the 760Li is powered by a 535-hp, 550 lb-ft of torque twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 BMW engine. The last V-12 model we tested, a 2010 model, roared to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and finished the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 115.5 mph. In a 2013 BMW 7 Series First Drive, we loved the 760Li’s V-12 engine, but wondered if its extraordinary power gets it into situations the car wasn’t designed to handle. It will cost £101,805.


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