At the GIMS 1987, BMW unveiled the BMW 750i, the first German 12-cylinder luxury model in half a century and which also set new standards in the typical German «Überlimousines» segment.

The BMW V12 was the result of 15 years of testing and development. With a displacement of 5 litres in its first version (M70), it delivered the power – impressive at that time – of 300 PS. BMW claimed that this engine «combined unlimited power with silky-smooth running». The BMW 750i also introduced the Electronic Damper Control, which proposed 3 damping settings.

This V12 is also the basis for the development of the S70 and S70/2 variants, which were used in competition and under the bonnet of the legendary McLaren F1 respectively.The V12 BMW 750i, 750iL then 760Li remained in the catalogue until 2022, still being successful. Up to one in six 7 Series sold was equipped with a V12.

During its career, the BMW 750i inspired its compatriots to equip themselves with a V12; Mercedes-Benz with the S-Class 600 as early as 1991 and the Volkswagen Group in 2001 with the Audi A8 W12 and the VW Phaeton W12 in 2002.

Nowadays, it is no longer reasonable to offer such engines on a large scale. However, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are leading the way among luxury segment by offering their EV-limousines i7 and EQS alongside hybrid engines on their new 7 Series and S-Class to deliver similar performance. To «unlimited power and silky-smooth running», the 21st century adds efficiency.

Other iconic cars