Tuesday 07 February 2017
Make no mistake, this is not a BMW M7. While it is certainly the fastest BMW ever produced, it doesn’t quite have the same shouty and outrageous characteristics as its M-Division brethren.
This is because BMW has designed this car to cater to buyers who want to be able to cruise down the motorway in supreme comfort one day, and go hell for leather on a twisting back road with the V12 on full chat the next.
As you would expect from a 7 Series, the M760Li is a luxury car that appeals to buyers who enjoy driving themselves, rather than being chauffeured. There are a number of driving modes available, with sportier settings sharpening throttle response and quickening gear changes. Comfort mode turns the car into a far more laid back beast, which glides over bumps with aplomb.
As far as appearances go, it’s hard to say that the M760Li will be universally well-regarded. The chrome brightwork can look chintzy, and the matt grey paint does – to our eyes, at least – seem rather plain. The cabin, however, is a magnificent place to sit. The front seats are superb, while those in the back take comfort to the next level – with multimedia screens, cushioned headrests and massaging backrests.
Next to rivals from the likes of Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the 7 Series does feel a touch smaller in the rear. Meanwhile, the driving position in the front is a little too enveloping, with the controls wrapped around you. That said, though, it doesn’t take too long to get comfy.
BMW was rather excited about the fact it had been 30 years since it fitted a 7 Series with a V12 at launch. Well, 30 years is a rather long time, and since 1987 the 12-cylinder engine’s power output has doubled.
The 6.6-litre power output now produces 601bhp, as well as 800Nm of torque. This all helps the M760Li sprint from zero to 60mph in 3.6 seconds – making it the fastest-accelerating BMW ever. This power does come at a price, though, as the big 7 Series can manage just 22.1mpg, while CO2 emissions stand at 294g/km.
Get behind the wheel, and it quickly becomes apparent that the M760Li has something of a split personality. On track, where we first tested it, it was properly quick for such a vast car. The V12 produces a great soundtrack, and body roll wasn’t too much of a worry despite this car’s hefty proportions. Four-wheel drive that is biased towards the rear wheels helps out with keeping the car stable and travelling in the right direction, and while the steering can be a touch light in Comfort mode, changing over to Sport mode helps to iron this out.
The BMW M760Li is by no means a cheap car, with prices starting at £132,310. That said though, you do get quite a lot in the way of standard equipment, such as 20-inch lightweight alloys, a Bowers & Wilkins sound system, Apple CarPlay, BMW’s Advanced Parking system, LED headlights, head-up display and massaging seats.
That rear-seat entertainment system is also thrown in, as is a panoramic glass sunroof – which is a nice touch. As ever, though, the options list is seemingly never-ending, and includes extras such as executive lounge seating, night vision and BMW laser headlights to name a few.
With that hefty price tag, there is only going to be a limited number of people who would pick the M760Li out of the 7 Series range. BMW believes that around 100 examples will be bought in the UK each year, largely by successful business types over the age of 45 who prefer to do the driving themselves.
Model: BMW M760Li xDrive
Engine: 6.6-litre, twin turbo V12
Transmission: DCT automatic
Performance: 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds, 155mph top speed
"abcdef" is not valid postalcodeOK