2018 BMW M760Li xDrive: Understated opulence, elegantly agile

    Posted by Wheels On Edge about 2 months ago
    Imagine, if you will, a car luxurious enough that you could recline in a heated, ventilated massaging rear seat and put your feet up on a retractable foot rest. Now imagine that same car could hit 100 kilometres an hour in just seconds, and packs a 6.6-litre 610 horsepower V12 engine under the hood.  Is it a supercar? Or a luxury limousine. Typically, these categories of vehicles couldn’t be farther apart, but in the BMW M760Li, they’re one in the same. 

    From the outside, this super 7-series is remarkably understated. Even in the special Frozen (matte) Dark Brown finish of our tester, the long wheelbase 7 doesn’t call for attention the way an M4 coupe might – even though this limousine happens to be faster. At a glance, onlookers would be hard pressed to differentiate it from a 5-series. Upon closer inspection, the sporting properties of this 7 begin to show. Features like the M-badged big brakes, 20-inch BMW Individual wheels, quad exhaust openings on the rear bumper – and of course, the pair of V12 badges affixed to the rear C-pillars - hint at the unexpectedly monstrous performance numbers this luxury limousine is capable of.
    Open one of the M760Li’s hefty doors and you’re greeted by an interior as plush a high end apartment in downtown Vancouver. Soft and supple merino leather, finished in BMW’s striking Smoke White contrasted and complemented the dark grey wood adorning the dashboard, centre console and rear lounge. Power retracting privacy shades can encompass the rear passenger cabin while the lucky VIP inside manipulates features including media, the sunroof, air conditioning, heat and even the cabin’s fragrance through a removable android tablet – all while sitting in a reclining, heated, ventilated massaging seat. Oh – there’s also a retractable footrest mounted to the back of the front passenger seat. Non-touch screens mounted to the back of the front headrests display information including media and navigation. More ambitious passengers can even initiate an exercise program, involving a number of shoulder and leg stretching maneuvers. 
    A long-wheelbase 7-series is more akin with the experience of being chauffeured around in style and comfort – and there’s no denying the M760Li is more than capable of such a task. But in the car’s very name lies BMW’s legendary M-division badge. Yes, BMW has been far more liberal with its use in recent years but the M’s presence still hints at performance, handling and the kind of driving experience a land barge like the M760Li should offer – but that’s exactly what it does. Getting from 0-100 takes just 3.7 seconds – faster than BMW’s own M3 and M4. Once you put the pedal to the floor, the horizon is virtually sucked towards you as the V12’s 590 lb-ft of torque suck you into the back of your seat like a luxury private jet ascending to the skies. 

    Despite its impressive performance capabilities, this is still an executive limousine at the end of the day. That same fire breathing V12 has a distinct dual nature. Set the car into comfort mode and the snarling exhaust quiets down, the suspension and steering become softer and throttle response smoothens out. But don’t be fooled - it’ll still thrust you forward if you need to. Driving the big 7 in this mode is both simple and pleasurable – especially with driver comfort features like a heated steering wheel and massaging seat. The car swallows the kilometres on long road trips – so long as you keep its thirsty tank full. Tech like radar cruise control and a semi-autonomous driving mode is especially helpful on longer journeys. You’ll need to keep your hands on the steering wheel, but the car will intelligently stay within a lane and monitor vehicles around it. When this mode is enabled, a green icon appears in the digital gauge cluster. Once that green icon vanishes, the mode reverts back to regular driving. We would have liked to hear an audible notification or see an icon in the heads up display once this occurs. 
    The M760Li is truly a Jekyll and Hyde vehicle – in the best possible way. It’s for the kind of well off buyer who wants their cake and is going to happily eat it too. And they can - because the rear lounge has a folding picnic table. Pair that with an optional build in mini-fridge and you can wash that cake down with your refreshment of choice. Perhaps the optional champagne flutes offered by BMW’s Individual program can help you pick your poison. There’s virtually nothing this car leaves buyers wanting. It’s even – in some strange way – good value for money. Strip away the body and go down to the nuts and bolts, and this 7-series is more or less a Rolls-Royce Ghost underneath. And when a “base” Ghost is over twice the price of this optioned out 7, $182,700 perhaps doesn’t look so bad.

    Written by Shane Kalicharan
    Photos by Kevin Wylie

    Tags:
    2018 BMW M760Li xDrive, luxury, review, BMW luxury 

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