While many doubted BMW was going to add a V12 option to its new 7-series, the carmaker has today unveiled its flagship saloon powered by a brand new twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder engine. The V12 engine option also sees the 7-series fitted with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, although the new self-shifter is expected to filter across to more BMW models within coming years.

As for the engine, the unit has been developed completely new from the ground up and is rated at 536hp (400kW) and 553lb-ft (750Nm) of torque. Importantly, this peak torque is available from a low 1,500rpm. This achieved with the full gamut of BMW’s latest engine technology, including twin-turbocharging, direct-injection and double-VANOS camshaft adjustment.

No independent testing has been completed but according to BMW’s own numbers the V12 powers the 7-series from 0-62mph in less than 4.6 seconds, while also returning a respectable 18mpg (13L/100km) fuel economy for the European cycle.

In determining the cars’ fuel consumption, BMW engineers already took the stricter EU5 emission standard into account, meaning fuel consumption is down by approximately 4.5% versus the former model.

Standard features include damping control and roll stability, as well as self-leveling air suspension on the long-wheelbase model, and optional active steering. Other safety features include lane-change and lane-departure warning systems, active cruise control, night vision, heads-up-display, reversing camera, and adaptive headlights.