Plagued with slow sales and a healthy appetite for premium unleaded, BMW's V12 is dangerously close to extinction.
The upcoming sixth-generation of the BMW 7-Series might not be offered with a V12 engine when it debuts in 2016, a new report indicates.
Once a relatively popular engine choice, BMW's V12 has fallen out of vogue over the past couple of years as customers increasingly opt for less powerful but more efficient V8 mills.
To add insult to injury, the German automaker is in the process of downsizing its entire engine lineup which means that cubic inches often get replaced by one, two or even three turbochargers. This puts the 6.0-liter V12 on thin ice.
Sending the V12 to the chopping block will alienate a small but loyal clientele.
"The V12 is the ultimate 7-Series in a certain way, and there will all the time be a particular customer base specifically wanting the prestige and the heritage of the car," said Christoph Priemel, the product and pricing manager for BMW's Australian arm, in an interview with Car Advice. "For customers that search for in particular a V12 engine it's still the pick; however, the rest of the range shows off the best ratio of efficiency."
Priemel did not mention when BMW will decide the fate of its V12-powered flagship sedan. The sixth-gen 7-Series is still several years away from hitting showrooms so BMW executives have plenty of time to debate the matter.