BMW V12 Turns 25! Celebrating the Evolution of the V12 BMW 7-series

BMW’s mighty V-12 turns 25 this year, and the red carpets are being unfurled worldwide.

BMW V12 7series Evolution Animation

Such a limousine was a flight of fancy for any non-Mercedes-Benz company before the 1980s, but BMW led the assault on the S-Class stronghold.

Celebrating the Evolution of the V12 BMW 7-series 70

With the V12’s launch in the late 1980s, BMW cemented its rightful place in the luxury sports limo category.

Celebrating the Evolution of the V12 BMW 7-series 71This is, after all, the V12 whose 627 horsepower propelled the McLaren F1 to such great heights.


This is the engine below in testing, with image credit to

McLaren F1 Engine Testing Image Credit:

The rest, as they say, is history…

Celebrating the Evolution of the V12 BMW 7-series 72


Celebrating the Evolution of the V12 BMW 7-series 73

Enjoy this look back at the BMW 750i, 750iL, 760Li, 760i and – ultimately – the sold-out 2013 BMW 760Li: V-12 25 Years Anniversary Edition


BMW 750i

BMW 750iL

BMW 760i


BMW 760Li

BMW 760i



Engine Mechanical Details

Engines BMW animation999


Official BMW Releases below.

2013 BMW 760Li: V-12 25 Years Anniversary Edition Sells Out

Orders placed for all 15 of these Limited Edition model destined for the US

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 11, 2012… As of 2:16pm EDT yesterday, dealers have submitted orders for all 15 of the “V-12 25 Years Edition” 760Li Sedans destined for the US after it was announced on Friday, September 7. The 25th Anniversary Edition 760Li V-12 reflects a rich tradition of V-12 engines that began back in 1987 with the then groundbreaking BMW 750iL when BMW engineers crafted the most Ultimate Driving MachineTM of its day with the introduction of the company’s first automotive V-12 engine.

The “V-12 25 Years Edition” BMW 760Li, offered in the US at a price of $159,695 including destination and handling, features BMW Individual Champagne Full Merino Leather and, exclusively for this model, black piping. The black floor mats and rear footrests are also complimented by contrasting piping in Champagne. The door sills, headrests and iDrive controllers are all specially badged with “V-12 25 Years Edition”. Also included with this special edition flagship model are:

  • Rear Seat Entertainment with iDrive control

  • 20’ Individual wheel style 301 with performance tires

  • Alcantara headliner in champagne (sides of headliner in black)

  • A/B/C pillars in black leather

  • Rear parcel shelf in Anthracite Alcantara

  • BMW Individual Piano Black Wood trim

  • Piano black wood inlay in steering wheel

  • Shadowline exterior trim

A full range of exterior colors is available for this limited edition as well as additional options, making it possible to craft a truly unique automobile.

The 760Li, with its 6.0-liter Twin Turbo V12, remains the pinnacle in the BMW 7 Series line up boasting 535 horsepower, 550 lb. ft of torque catapulting the big Sports Sedan from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and a limited top speed of 130 mph (155 mph with the M Sport Package option).


Celebrating the Evolution of the V12 BMW 7-series 61

25 years of BMW 12-cylinder engines: setting new standards in the luxury class.

Munich – October 26, 2012… BMW’s second-generation 7 Series, unveiled in 1986, featured two new top-of-the-range sedans whose formidable six-cylinder in-line engines generated universal enthusiasm in the motoring media. Nevertheless, it was an open secret that an even bigger star was waiting in the wings: the first German 12-cylinder luxury model in half a century.

Expectations were running high, fuelled by BMW’s release of various advance details of the new model’s technical specifications. In September 1986, one news magazine informed its readers: “BMW will be opting for an aero engine-style design. That means most engine systems on the 12-cylinder 7 Series model, which is due for market release in June 1987, will be duplicated. There will even be two lambda sensors. And even if half the engine capacity failed, for some reason, speeds of over 200 km/h would be possible even on just six cylinders.” Last but not least, BMW’s development chief at the time was quoted as saying: “if the engineers wanted to go for nothing but the best of everything, we didn’t try to stop them.”

Celebrating the Evolution of the V12 BMW 7-series 25

The rumour mill was rife with speculation about the future top-of-the-line engine’s capabilities. One story doing the rounds claimed that: “BMW is doing everything it can to promote a sense of exclusiveness and cachet. They even want the licensing authorities to allow them to state the performance not in figures but in words – to the effect that the engine is appropriate in power and performance for the requirements of the vehicle.”

In February 1987, BMW finally put an end to the speculation and released the technical specifications of the 12-cylinder engine in the new BMW 750i, ahead of its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show the following month. The new engine, which had been designed completely from scratch, would develop 300 horsepower from a displacement of five litres. Its refinement, low noise levels and excellent balance between performance and fuel consumption set new benchmarks in engine design. These objectives were achieved by using state-of-the-art technologies and a raft of innovative ideas right across the board. In short, the BMW 750i’s 12-cylinder engine had been built with the aim of setting a new and groundbreaking benchmark that would occupy the highest echelons of automotive engineering.

BMW V12 7series Evolution Animation