Just about every automaker is downsizing these days. With governing bodies imposing stricter emission regulations, large engine options are on thin ground. That also made the V12 engine an endangered species. Once the symbol of ultimate power and status, the twelve-cylinder has fallen out of fashion and has essentially been replaced by high-powered, turbocharged V8s.
There are still a few manufacturers who still keep V12s around. One of those holdouts is Mercedes-Benz, and it seems that they plan to keep it around for a little bit longer. They hinted that when they showed a preview for an upcoming Maybach model.
You might ask why Mercedes-Benz rolled out a Maybach teaser after they revealed the car several months ago. That's because Maybach will turn 100 years old in 2021, and they are coming up with a new range-topping model.
If you take a closer look at the fender, there is a subtle V12 badge that tells us that twelve cylinders are here to stay at Mercedes-Benz. We doubt the automaker will stick a V12 badge on the car and not put in a twelve-cylinder under the hood of the Maybach. With that, we reckon the German automaker made a subtle confirmation.
That said, this might be the last Mercedes-Benz to have a V12 engine. We don't think it will be an all-new engine given that most automakers are cutting down on displacement and cylinders. Mercedes-Benz could use the M279 engine, the only 12-cylinder left in their arsenal. It's still a potent powerplant though since it's good for 630 PS and 1,000 Nm of torque.
In some ways, we are pleased that Mercedes-Benz is keeping twelve-cylinder engines a little longer. From the start, the automaker always offered a large capacity engine for their flagship sedan. It's difficult to justify keeping these massive mills around, especially as more companies are pouring more resources into electrification. And with that, it might be the last hurrah for the Mercedes-Benz V12.