Each country makes its specific contribution to automotive greatness: Germany, for example, has the autobahn, where unlimited speed still rules. But with gasoline prices approaching the equivalent of $7.50 a gallon and more, it's no wonder that fuel-sipping technologies such as BMW's "efficient dynamics" are all the rage. This is where other markets, such as the U.S. or Asia, come in. They don't have much to offer in terms of high-speed, long-distance cruising, but thanks to status-conscious customers, ultra-powerful V-12 engines are in sufficient demand to warrant constant updates.
Huffing and Puffing
"We need a V-12 mainly for Asian and American customers," confirms a BMW engineer. And so, the Shanghai auto show will see BMW launch a new V-12 version of the new-for-2009 7-series. The 2010 760i and the long-wheelbase 760Li are powered by an all-aluminum, direct-injected 6.0-liter V-12, which, unlike its 439-hp predecessor, is force-fed by two turbochargers. The two compressors are placed in a conventional manner outside the cylinder banks, each feeding six cylinders. Output for the new engine is 536 hp at 5250 rpm, while 553 lb-ft of torque is available from as low as 1500 rpm.
BMW says the engine is an all-new design, but we can't help noticing that it retains the same displacement of its predecessor, which in turn is related to the 6.7-liter, naturally aspirated V-12 in the Rolls-Royce Phantom. A compression ratio of 10.0:1 is high for a turbocharged engine, but is manageable due to the cooling effect of injecting fuel directly into the combustion chambers. A 6.6-liter version of the new V-12 with up to 600 hp also is expected to make its way under the hood of the Phantom’s upcoming little brother, which will go on sale next year and was previewed by the 200EX concept at the Geneva auto show in March.
Keep Reading: 2010 BMW 760i / 760Li - Auto Shows