In a move that should surprise no one in the dawning age of electric power, BMW is jettisoning its extravagant V-12 engine.
The milestone event signals the luxury brand's pivot to a cleaner — and decidedly quieter — era. BMW last week said it will cease output of the V-12 this summer, ending a three decade-plus run.
The German automaker introduced the road-going V-12 in 1987. The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter M70 engine featured single overhead camshafts, two valves per cylinder, and drive-by-wire electronic throttle.
The brawny V-12 has resided at the pinnacle of BMW's engine lineup, in prestige, smoothness and refinement.
But demand for gas-guzzlers has fizzled as consumers seek more cost- and energy-efficient powerplants. Governments from Canada to China are also prodding automakers toward greener fleets with stricter emissions regulations.
The auto industry is responding with a hearty embrace of zero-emission powertrains.
In that world, the V-12's advantages of refinement and impressive performance no longer apply, AutoPacific President Ed Kim said.
"As BMW and other luxury brands rapidly pivot to EVs, so go their engineering and monetary resources," Kim said. "The V-12 is steeped in history and heritage, but the latest luxury EV powertrains have made it a relic."
EV market share in the U.S. is expected to climb from about 2.5 percent today to 26 percent by 2030, according to a forecast by Guidehouse Insights. Automakers intend to bring more than 60 new battery-electric models to North America by 2025.
But while some luxury brands have committed to going all-electric by early next decade, BMW is taking a more measured stance.