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Reverse, reverse!

December 18, 2009

Yep, another Times article, this time about the new BMW 7-series. In 1977, the 7-series came standardly equipped with a six-cylinder engine. For 2010, BMW plans on re-introducing the same style engine, hopped up on a lil’ bit o’ somethin’ somethin’, giving it about 185 more horsepower than the original engine. Okay, there’s more horsepower. In a straight six engine. What happened to the V8s and V12s BMW offers with the 7-series? Hmm…seems like the German automaker really is trying to be as green as possible, from vehicle recycling to providing more energy efficient engines that use less cylinders.

I must say that there’s a certain feeling that only a V8 can provide (since I haven’t had the privilege of driving a V12, yet…only an in-line 4 cylinder, V6, and V8). I’m curious to see if (potential) buyers of the new 7-Series will be turned away from the smaller engine, or if they will embrace the fuel efficiency it provides and hop on BMW’s proverbial green train. I’ve made my opinion on the matter clear before – I enjoy beastly V8s despite their not-so-economical fuel consumption. However, while letting BMWs approach ferment in my mind today, I’ve become a little more open to a small engine that can do the same work as a fuel hungry, growling V8 (the growl is part of the experience). It seems that the trend in the auto industry is that larger engines may be slowly phased out of production and replaced with smaller, more powerful, more fuel-friendly ones. Clearly, the marketplace will determine whether this trend sticks or flops. In the meantime, I’ll watch, from the comfort of my 4-cylinder Camry, which I have no intentions of replacing within the next 200k miles (only at 37k right now)!

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