There’s not much that BMW has left out of this new addition to its 7-series range: M Performance badge, long wheelbase, all-wheel drive… and V12 engine. It all comes together as the M760Li xDrive V12, which is not a very catchy name for what is in with a good shout of being the world’s greatest sporting limo.
For BMW, this is the best sedan it can build, and has ever built – in 100 years. The new ‘Carbon Core’ 7-series is acclaimed already and the new flagship model of the marque’s flagship range appears to succeed in its task of ticking all the boxes for power, performance, luxury, space and tech.
Three things stand out to us straight away. For starters all that rear legroom and luxury comes with a 0-62 of just 3.9secs – it’s a limo with launch control. There’s a button you can thumb when bored of the sound of silence to unleash a full V12 soundtrack from the quad exhausts. And the specially tailored xDrive chassis is strong on rear bias to give the handing a fruity flavour.
While all that sounds good we should remember that German limos in the past haven’t always been enhanced once they get V12 badges on their C pillar. There’s a strong case to say this one will hit the sweet spot, as one look at the new motor confirms.
It’s a TwinPower version of the 6,592cc unit, with twin mono-scroll blowers tucked away on the outside of each 60deg bank of cylinders. Iron-coated aluminium pistons, forged connecting rods and a forged crankshaft aim to build on the V12’s inherent smoothness by reducing vibrations and noise even further.
And if ever you forget how much extra you’ve spent on the V12 over a regular 7-series there’s no need to fear: fire up the engine and a V12 emblem lights up in the centre of the instrument cluster.
The V12 generates 592bhp (600PS) at 5,500rpm with a peak torque of 800 Nm (590 lb ft) as low as 1,500rpm. Transmission is eight-speed Steptronic Sport.
M Performance design enhancements inside and out set the model apart, along with a very full spec – basically if BMW makes it, the M760Li V12 has got it. The list includes Executive Drive Pro which links the air suspension with the Dynamic Damper Control system to deliver what BMW says is its best ride/handling spread yet.
With its relative lightweight and efficiency measures that include auto stop-start, the M760Li is credited with 24 to the gallon, along with that rather more impressive figure of 0-62 in under 4 seconds. And top speed? We wonder how many of these autobahn stormers will really come with a limited v-max of 155mph – if it were ours, we’d want to go a heck of a lot faster than that where we were able to. The speedo runs all the way to 205mph…
Despite that, we look forward to seeing one on the estate soon – we know of one person who might quite like it. BMW’s new flagship goes on sale later this year at a price to be announced.