Rolls-Royce Hangs onto V-12 Power

May 16, 2018 at 10:27 AM

BMW AG’s Rolls-Royce unit intends to maintain its signature V-12 engines well into the future as it gradually converts to electrified systems.

The ultra-luxury brand will use 12-cylinder engines “as long as it is legally allowed to offer them," CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos tells the Financial Times. He notes that such powerplants are part of Rolls-Royce’s identity.

But Muller-Otvos acknowledges that “electrification is the future” and that Rolls-Royce needs to properly prepare itself. He says the marque likely will launch its first fully electric model within the next decade and electrify its entire lineup by 2040.

The technology also provides complementary benefits. Electrification “fits extremely well with Rolls-Royce,” Muller-Otvos says, citing power, torque and quiet operation.

The company reportedly is considering a plug-in hybrid variant of its all-new Cullinan crossover/SUV that is due later this year. At launch, the vehicle will be powered by a 6.8-liter V-12 that makes 563 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque.