THE END OF AN ERA - THE V12
The V12 engine is a dominant force in the world of mechanical engineering. It was born out of necessity and has been refined into an art form over time. The list of V12 powered cars is long and illustrious, from Ferrari to Rolls Royce to Lamborghini. The end of the V12 is upon us however; as emissions regulations become stricter, we can expect to see less of the venerable 12 cylinder engine that has served us so well for so long.
It was born out of necessity
There's a reason that, for decades, many of the most powerful cars on the road were powered by V12 engines. The motors are known for their smoothness and power: they can produce over 700 horsepower while still delivering the car's occupants a smooth ride.
The first V12 was found in an experimental aircraft engine designed by Louis Renault in 1906. It was called "V" because it had 12 cylinders arranged in two banks of six cylinders each (hence "V12"). This layout made it possible to produce larger engines with fewer moving parts than other configurations would allow for—and it became popular among luxury car makers like Mercedes-Benz starting around 1910.
As time went on, manufacturers began experimenting with different kinds of V configurations, including ones where there were more than two rows of cylinder banks or less than 12 total pistons per engine block. But almost all modern cars still use some kind of variation on these basic principles: multiple banks arranged into lines that turn together at an angle relative to one another so that each bank operates independently yet contributes equally toward powering your vehicle forward down the road!
The list of V12 powered cars is long and illustrious.
The V12 engine has a long history in the automotive industry, and it's one that is filled with plenty of prestigious cars that have used this particular powerplant. In fact, many of these cars have become legends themselves due to their use of the V12.
It's worth noting that there are several competing designs for 12-cylinder engines, but most will agree that the Ferrari flat-plane crank V12 is the most well-known design. This specific design was created by Italian engineer Gioacchino Colombo and first appeared on a Ferrari automobile in 1947 with its first use an experimental racer known as 125 S1 (a car which was later rebodied into 166 M). Later iterations were used on numerous production models including Testarossas, 288 GTOs, F40s and even modern LaFerrari supercars!
The list goes on and on - some notable examples include Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari 812 SuperFast , Rolls Royce Wraith and Aston Martin DBS Superlegerra.
The end of the V12 is upon us.
As you know, the world has changed. The days when it was acceptable to produce vehicles that spewed carbon dioxide into our atmosphere are over. Governments have stepped up their efforts to combat climate change, and manufacturers have responded by increasing the efficiency of their vehicles by switching from V8s to V6s and even smaller engines with the use of turbochargers. The end of an era is upon us, but we can't dwell on this for too long because there's still a lot for us to learn about today's cars!
Given that a 12 cylinder engine produces twice as many degradation byproducts as a 6 cylinder engine, there's a fairly good case as to why anyone should make one anymore.
If you're familiar with the technical aspects of engine development, you might already be aware that there are some serious drawbacks to a 12 cylinder engine. Given that a 12 cylinder engine produces twice as many degradation byproducts as a 6 cylinder engine, there's a fairly good case as to why anyone should make one anymore.
When it comes down to it, though, the V12 is more expensive to build and maintain than its more refined counterparts. They're also heavier and less efficient—the latter factor being particularly important in today's world of increasingly strict emissions standards. Add all this up and you'll see that even though Ferrari has built some incredible engines over the years (most notably their V8s), the days of making them are coming to an end.
A turbocharged V8 will do the job just fine.
The most obvious reason that the V12 engine could be considered obsolete is that it's simply no longer as efficient as it once was. This is largely due to changes in technology and fuel consumption standards over the last decade or so. With an eight-cylinder engine, you get the same power and performance with fewer cylinders (and therefore less weight).
Additionally, turbocharged engines have come a long way in recent years—they're lighter and more powerful than ever before. They also have better throttle response than naturally aspirated ones thanks to smaller turbochargers or twin-scroll turbos that improve efficiency by reducing lag time between opening up your throttle and getting power from it.
As emissions regulations become stricter, we can expect to see less of the venerable V12 engine
Now that the V12 has been phased out by regulations, the future of its platform is uncertain. However, it's hard to imagine Mercedes-Benz ever abandoning such a proprietary technology. Even if they do abandon it, we should expect other manufacturers to take up the mantle and continue producing competitive engines in this configuration. In any case, we can be sure that regardless of what happens next with these motorsports legends, their contributions will continue being felt for years to come.
The V12 engine is an amazing piece of engineering. It's powerful, it's beautiful, and there's something uniquely satisfying about driving one. But times are changing, and we're going to see less and less of these engines as time goes on. We'll still have plenty of awesome cars with V12 powerplants in them (like the Ferrari LaFerrari), but what we won't be seeing any longer are twelve-cylinder engines powering everything from supercars to family sedans - at least not in their current form. In short: today marks the end of an era for car enthusiasts everywhere.