The Sound and The Fury: The Wild World of V-12S
The Phantom VIII, and all Rolls-royces, for that matter, use twin-turbo-charged V-12s not to deliver blistering speed, but for quiet, stately cruising—think parades and state motorcades— and occasional smooth bursts of power.
The new, elegantly sporty DB11 has a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V-12 that’s hand-built at Aston’s factory in Gaydon, England. While these cars have used almost exclusively V-12s since the early ’90s, the DB11 will soon be available with a V-8 made by Mercedes-benz AMG.
The M760i xdrive is the only car BMW equips with a V-12, a version of the same twin-turbo engine that it builds for Rolls-royce. In that regard, this USD156,700 car is kind of a V-12 bargain. The exhaust sound is actually amplified on the car’s stereo system.
As far as Pavarotti-loud, naturally aspirated V-12s go, it’s primarily a Ferrari and Lamborghini world. The Aventador is Lambo’s best-selling V-12 in the company’s 54-year history; in the new Aventador S, people will hear you coming from blocks away.
The AMG G65 sports a 6.0-litre V-12 bi-turbo engine that produces 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful SUV anywhere. Overkill? Yes. That’s the point. The handcrafted V-12’s are found in six Mercedes-benzes, including the two-seater SL AMG.