Make no mistake, the V12 engine is a dead man walking. For over 100 years and on both road and track we have marvelled to the sound of a dozen perfectly balanced cylinders and, when bonnets were lifted, thrilled to their sight too. To me there is no greater expression of what I love about engines than the sight of a Ferrari Testa Rossa V12, with its red cam covers sandwiching a regiment of twin-choke downdraught Webers.
But they’re finished. Despite the fact that V12s are still used by Aston Martin, Bentley (if you count its strange W12 formation), BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce and with two more about to go into production – of which more in a minute – their days are numbered.
Of course, manufacturers like Ferrari and Lamborghini, which have built their reputations on the back of the V12, won’t give you a precise sell-by date, but their future is simply not sustainable. These engines are magnificent dinosaurs, padding about the planet, watching the asteroid of electrification hurtle earthbound, knowing that nothing but extinction awaits. Will any still be here in 10 years? Not a chance.