The benefits of inter-brand technology sharing become apparent as BMW plucks the 6.6L V-12 from the Rolls-Royce Wraith and adapts it for use in the all-new ’17 BMW M760i, which makes its North American debut this week at the New York International Auto Show.
Both BMW and Rolls-Royce have a long history with 12-cyl. engines, but the Bavarian acquisition of the famous British luxury automaker in 2003 enabled more ambitious powertrain sharing.
BMW’s last V-12, a 6.0L twin-turbo that produced 535 hp and 550 lb.-ft. (746 Nm) of torque, was offered in the U.S. in limited-edition 760Li sedans in 2012. It was capable of a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) sprint in 4.5 seconds.
The new engine, also with two turbochargers, displaces 6.6L, produces 610 hp and 590 lb.-ft. (800 Nm) of torque and is said to launch the new M760i to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 3.7 seconds.
A higher-output version of this engine (624 hp) propels the chunkier Rolls-Royce Wraith to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The torque rating is the same between the BMW and the British cruiser, and in both vehicles the torque peak is available at a mere 1,500 rpm.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost and the newly arriving Dawn convertible have an older V-12 rated at 563 hp.
Top speed of the new M760i is governed at 155 mph (249 km/h). The gasoline engine features an aluminum block, iron-coated aluminum pistons, forged connecting rods and a forged crankshaft. Fuel is sprayed directly into combustion chambers under 2,900 psi (200 bar) of pressure.
The engine incorporates two mono-scroll turbochargers placed on the outside of the two cylinders banks, each supplying six cylinders with compressed air. BMW says this layout provides short, straight and flow-efficient connections between the exhaust ports and the turbochargers.
Two air-to-water intercoolers cool the compressed air coming from each of the turbochargers, and an additional water pump feeds the separate intercooler coolant circuit. Air-to-water heat exchangers are positioned directly on the intake manifold for the first time, BMW says.
The M760i xDrive arrives early in 2017 with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and pricing will be announced closer to launch.
Also in New York, BMW will debut the ’17 Alpina B7, another sporty variant from the 7-Series lineup expected to be available in September at BMW dealerships. With a 4.4L twin-turbo V-8 capable of 600 hp, the all-wheel-drive Alpina is predicted to accelerate to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.
Meanwhile, sister brand Mini will have two world premieres in New York: the all-wheel-drive Clubman ALL4 and the John Cooper Works Convertible.
The Clubman ALL4, available with either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission, is powered by a 1.5L turbocharged 3-cyl. making 134 hp or a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl. rated at 189 hp in the Cooper S variant, which carries a starting price of $29,450. The base Cooper Clubman ALL4 stickers beginning at $25,900.
A power take-off unit enables distribution of drive torque between the front and rear wheels to be adapted instantly to the given situation on the road at all times, optimizing traction and driving stability and enhancing agility, Mini says.
The convertible version of the Mini John Cooper Works, going on sale now at Mini dealers in the U.S., will use the 228-hp 2.0L turbo-4 currently found in the John Cooper Works Hardtop. Pricing begins at $35,600, compared with $29,600 for the Cooper S convertible and $25,950 for the Cooper droptop.