25 years of the V12: BMW gives a guarantee for the twelve-cylinder


BMW gives a guarantee of existence for the twelve-cylinder

25 years of the V12: BMW gives a guarantee for the twelve-cylinder-

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While the trend in engines is shrinking, BMW is celebrating its V12.

Source: BMW

25 years of the V12: BMW gives a guarantee for the twelve-cylinder-

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Five liters of displacement, 300 hp and 450 Newton meters, these are the engine’s key figures.

Source: BMW

25 years of the V12: BMW gives a guarantee for the twelve-cylinder-

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The powerful properties even earned the top model an appearance in a James Bond film.

Source: BMW

25 years of the V12: BMW gives a guarantee for the twelve-cylinder-

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When it went on sale at the end of 2002, there was a 760i at the rear…

Source: BMW

25 years of the V12: BMW gives a guarantee for the twelve-cylinder-

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…the displacement grows to six liters. The power is 445 hp.

Source: BMW

25 years of the V12: BMW gives a guarantee for the twelve-cylinder-

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In total, BMW produced over 90,000 seven-12-cylinder engines.

Source: BMW

BMW celebrates big calibers like the 750i from 1987 with five liters displacement and 300 hp. The V12 is still being built. The manufacturer assures us that nobody supposedly has to worry about the environment.

D.Germany in 1987: The Chancellor’s name is Helmut Kohl, he ruled in Berlin, Thomas Gottschalk presented the TV program “Wetten, dass?” for the first time, and everyone at BMW looked under the hood of the sevens. The luxury sedan is not new and is already in the second generation.

But for the first time a twelve-cylinder is working there again. For over 50 years, the German manufacturers limited themselves to a maximum of eight cylinders before the Bavarians rediscovered the “crown of engine construction” on board their flagship. These days, the Bavarian car manufacturer fondly remembers its 25th anniversary.

The upgrade is an expensive pleasure, because the BMW 750i with its 102,000 marks costs almost twice as much as the basic seven with a 188 hp in-line six-cylinder. But there is also a development of power like from another planet: full of power, but wrapped in velvet and silk – that’s what the Bavarian ship lures high earners around the world with: five liters of displacement, 300 hp and 450 Nm, moves with it the almost two-ton luxury liner as if by magic.

The engine does not make a sound

Although the internally called M70 engine lifts the sevens to 100 km / h in a sensational 7.0 seconds and has enough power for up to 280 things, you don’t hear a peep from it even at full throttle. You have to look at the tachometer so that you don’t keep picking up the starter. And the engineers immediately believe the story that you could put a five-mark piece on the engine block while the engine was running without it falling over. Because no other engine concept is as smoothly and refined as a twelve-cylinder.

This is popular with customers: even before the premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, BMW has 3,000 orders in the books. And by the time the E32, internally known as the E32, expires in 1994, over 50,000 twelve-cylinder engines will be built. Every sixth customer with seven opts for the top model. When the E38 then goes to the start, the elegant powerhouse is therefore back in the program. The engine now has a displacement of 5.4 liters and 326 hp.

"However, the increase in performance was not the primary development goal," says press spokesman Bernhard Santer about the M73. "Rather, the new twelve-cylinder was around 13 percent more economical, had lower emissions and was even more sophisticated." Nevertheless, a certain reluctance on the part of customers is noticeable: Because consumption is an issue and the economy has a few dips, V12 sales are around about half back, so that the total production of twelve-cylinder engines by the time the E38 is phased out is 73,776 engines.

New models in 2002 and 2008

But even that is enough for Bayern to continue. That is why there is no question that there will be a V12 again with the E 65 generation seven. When it went on sale at the end of 2002, however, there was a 760i at the rear because the displacement had now grown to six liters. The output is 445 hp, and when BMW introduces the current seven with the factory code F01 in 2008, there is of course a V12 again. It has been developed from scratch and only has a displacement of six liters in common with its predecessor.

Thanks to BMW TwinPower Turbo, gasoline direct injection and stepless camshaft adjustment, the 544 hp power pack is not only the measure of all things in terms of performance and smoothness, it also impresses with its remarkable efficiency. Although it is almost twice as powerful and the car weighs a few hundred kilos more, it consumes around two liters less than before and shows the potential still in the engine.

No wonder that BMW is loyal to the twelve-cylinder and has issued a guarantee: "We will keep the engine up-to-date and still have a few leaps in performance and efficiency up our sleeve," says Klaus Hirschfelder from BMW engine development: "To disarmament or no one thinks about decommissioning with us. "

Copycat Mercedes

Since BMW brought back the V12 25 years ago, the Bavarians have not only ennobled over 90,000 sevens with the culmination of engine construction. But they also called the competition on the scene and motivated them to imitate them: Mercedes was apparently so enthusiastic about the engine in the E32 that the Swabians immediately started a similar project. However, it took four years for the S-Class to cook on twelve pots. And at that time there was really no talk of Audi as a luxury brand.

Today, on the other hand, the Lords of the Rings also have a twelve-cylinder, which, however, is constructed in a W-shape and is not even used exclusively. But the Bavarians share the unit with VW and especially with Bentley, where it is installed in the Continental GT. And with great success: "Since we first presented the ten-year-old series, we have assembled 26,000 W12 engines in Crewe," says the new brand boss Wolfgang Schreiber. "That makes us the largest twelve-cylinder producer in the world."

Not really used, but in great demand

Thanks to turbo and direct injection, some six and many eight-cylinder engines can easily outperform the first V12 engines from BMW, and even current twelve-cylinder engines no longer always mark the top performance in the respective series. But the running culture is unmatched and there is no substitute for prestige.

That is also the reason why experts such as engine construction professor Stefan Pischinger from RWTH Aachen University are not worried about the continued existence of this type of drive: “Of course, nobody really needs a V12 engine. But all studies show that such units are still very popular. ”The target group remains constant in almost all markets or is even growing.

And as long as there are enough interested parties, the right engines will also be available. But you don’t have to worry about the climate: "The numbers are so small that you can neglect the share of these engines in the CO 2 balance."

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