Ask around the automotive engineer community, and you might hear talk that the twelve-cylinder motor is a dead motor walkin’ down the green mile. “The [V12] is too big and heavy,” McLaren chairman Antony Sheriff recently said. “The V12 engine is a thing of the past. The engine belongs in a museum.” Well, nobody seems to have mentioned that to Mercedes-Benz and AMG.
See, while demand for twelve-cylinder motors may not be as strong as it was back in the days before you could build a street car with a 3.8 liter turbo V8 cranked up to 616 horsepower, there are still enough people who want a mighty V12 under the hood of their super-luxury car to justify keeping it going for a handful of automakers. So to simplify the creation of such a limited-production motor, Mercedes is handing off development of all its V12s—not just the ones that go into AMG models—to their AMG division, who have plenty of experience building very powerful engines in small production runs.
The way we see this, it’s a win-win. Mercedes doesn’t have to worry about killing off the V12 just to satisfy the environmental lobby—hey, it’s part of our performance division, we just let those crazy guys be—while still being able to offer the plutocratic powerplant for those who really want it. And we enthusiasts get even more AMG-worked powerplants. The next-gen S600 is expected to be the first non-AMG model car with an AMG-sourced V12; we’re hoping to see a nice little power bump from the outgoing car’s 510 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque. And while we’re at it, let’s hope AMG drops the 720 hp, 740 lb-ft twin-turbo V12 they built for the Pagani Huayra into the next S65 AMG. [via Autoweek]