The BMW M760Li xDrive leaps straight to the very pinnacle of the BMW range. It’s based on the long-wheelbase BMW 7 Series Li models, but brings a whole lot more pomp and circumstance.
At 5238mm long, the M760Li is 215mm shorter than its Mercedes-Maybach nemesis. However, its mighty biturbo 6.6-litre V12 with 441kW and 800Nm matched to an eight-speed auto is a fair match for the bigger Maybach, and its 6.0-litre V12 with 390kW/830Nm.
The Bavarian behemoth weighs about 2.2 tonnes unladen (despite lots of carbon-fibre in its core), and yet hustles from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds on the way to a maximum speed of 305km/h. If you own one of these, chances are you have somewhere important to be…
Unlike the exclusively RWD Mercedes-Benz Maybach, the BMW M760Li uses the company’s rear-biased all-wheel-drive system with fully variable torque redistribution. You also get standard adjustable air suspension.
And, being a BMW, it has to corner. Well, at least on behalf of your chauffeur. You get features such as active roll stabilisation, performance tyres on the 20-inch rims and integral active steering.
If you fancy driving yourself, you can lean on the array of active safety equipment, which includes steering and lane assist, active cruise control, traffic jam assistant and rear-cross traffic alert. Naturally, you also get the same gesture control system as on the other 7 Series models.
Inside, you get niceties such as fineline black wood inserts and high-gloss metal, deep-pile carpets in the rear (though no extra legroom), and dark Alcantara headlining. Exclusive Nappa leather trim covers the seat surfaces, seat side sections, head restraints, door cards and armrests. Like the Maybach, there are only two rear seats, akin to lounge chairs.
BMW M Performance parts include the M leather steering wheel and pedals, while you also get door sill plates with an illuminated V12 logo. The instrument cluster contains an exclusive speedometer featuring the model designation and a dial now extending to 330 km/h (205 mph).
For customers looking to trade the “overtly dynamic” appearance of their BMW M760Li xDrive for a more “discreet luxurious look”, the optional BMW M760Li xDrive V12 Excellence is available at no extra cost.
This versions sheds the M aerodynamic package and adds 20-inch BMW Individual light-alloy wheels in W-spoke 646 design high-gloss polished with mixed-size tyres (front: 245/40 R20, rear: 275/35 R20).
There’s also a chrome bar extending across the full width of the car in the upper section of the air intake grille, plus the kidney grille bars are in silver with chrome fronts and surrounds likewise in bright chrome. All the other trim elements on the body also come in bright chrome.
In place of a model designation, the BMW M760Li xDrive V12 Excellence has a “V12” badge on the boot lid. The exhaust system’s pair of chrome, rectangular tailpipe embellishers are now framed by even more of that shiny chrome trim.
Inside, the BMW steering wheel features wood inlays, and the V12 lettering in the instrument cluster illuminates when the driver fires up the engine. The comfort-biased exhaust system with its “refined soundtrack” also helps to accentuate the specific character of the V12 Excellence model.
This is clearly the one for those who don’t like hoonery.
Our initial understanding from BMW was that this car would not be coming to Australia for the foreseeable future (unless you want to privately import one).
However, as it turns out, BMW Australia WILL bring this new flagship here, likely in the first half of 2017.
This means the $449,000 (plus on-road costs) Mercedes-Maybach S600, Rolls-Royce Ghost (owned by BMW) and the Bentley Mulsanne will have one more competitor locally.
The top dog in the BMW Australia 7 Series range at present is the 750iL V8 priced from $312,700.