Driven - June 2017

Part 2: Which Luxury BMW do you choose? BMW M760Li

Why the new BMW M760Li can be a frustrating car to own…

BMW 760Li South African Review

Read Part One: Which Luxury BMW do you choose? BMW 750Li

Having copious amounts of money comes with certain perks. Unlike us common folks, you don’t really have to deal with things like budget anxiety, traffic and even tax. Speaking of traffic, cars like the BMW 7 Series have longed serviced the needs of wealthy clients, but for many years the segment has been dominated by Mercedes Benz. Whilst Merc kept introducing longer faster and more opulent models, BMW didn’t seem too interested in the competition. For long BMW lovers begged for an M7 as the people of Mercedes Benz had vehicles like the S63 and S65 AMG to combine absolute power and absolute luxury. Eventually, BMW cracked. The answer? A long wheel base 7 Series called an M760Li. Using the G12 platform, the car offers enough legroom at the back for a man in stilts and enough power to render an industrial generator useless. With a power figure of 448kW/800N.m, it is the most powerful BMW ever made. That may seem ludicrous because the car weighs over 2 tons and it’s a 7 Series for Pete’s sake. The Germans are clever as the car has a traction advantage over its competitors. xDrive allows the BMW M760Li to propel from 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds. Yikes.

BMW 760Li South African Review

All this performance does create a problem for the owner of this car. Do you drive, or do you get driven? Traditionally an Li variant of a 7 Series would be the car your driver takes you from point A to point Z with. Now with all this exciting performance offered in the BMW M760Li, you may have to reconsider your arrangements. Sitting in the rear seat is a fantastic space to be. A middle partition makes the car a four seater only, which also creates a “first class” feel in the car. I have access to infotainment, seating adjustment, air conditioning and more whilst in the back. One can really forget their troubles in the back of this car. Up front however I have all the gadgets we’ve come to know and love in the current 7 Series. Gesture control, various safety options and driver aids makes this car a moving tech machine. Most excitingly though is access to the 6.6 litre V12 TwinPower Turbo engine. In Comfort mode, it’s as silent as a 740i. In Sport and Sport Plus it’s a different story…

BMW 760Li South African Review

You would think that the car would be a wild animal, screeching tyres and exhibiting a hooligan-like personality. This isn’t the case however. The car is mind blowing in terms of acceleration but very composed. The aim of this vehicle is to keep your suit looking suave, even under extreme driving conditions. The steering is near perfect for a car of this nature as it is not like the feeling you get on an M car. Depending on the mode you’re in, the weight of the steering changes but never enough to feel cumbersome. Quite frankly “visceral” is not the word you want when explaining what your high performance 7 Series feels like. Rather the word you want to use is “stately”, and stately it is. Another word you wouldn’t expect to use is nimble. The fact is in Sport Plus, the M760Li hides it’s weight better than a fat person in a corset. It’s a real engineering feat.

BMW 760Li South African Review

My quandary with this car though is what do you choose? If I were to be have the budget for it, I would love to exploit the capabilities of this car as the driver. At the same time traffic is a reality and like I said, rich people don’t have to sit in traffic. I’d rather be in the back seat for that. So what do you do? Keep a chauffeur on stand-by? It’s a real “first world problems” frustration. A gentleman from BMW at the launch of the car said that if he owned one, he would stick the chauffeur in the boot during the weekend and take him out in the week. The legalities around the concept are difficult, but he makes sense. BMW have a built a car that’s so good at being dual purpose, you’ll battle to pick where you want to be.

BMW 760Li South African Review

So then is the BMW M760Li worth the hype? In many respects yes, purely because they’ve created a healthy balance between luxury and performance. A bit too much power perhaps? There’s never such a thing as too much power. As long as it’s usable then so be it and the addition of xDrive makes this car much more usable than its rivals. For R2.6 million is it worth it? The figure is not what matters here. The statement is the key thing. For those looking to make a statement, what more do you want than an extra long Matte grey 7 Series with 20inch wheels and V12 badge on the C-Pillar? The M760Li is not the car you buy for just the luxury or the performance, much like a Mercedes – AMG S65, you buy it to say “I’m the best”. Period.