February 16, 2016
With its flagship BMW M760Li xDrive, BMW pulls out all the stops
This tech and luxury-laden 600-horsepower saloon on the BMW M760Li xDrive makes your car look like a simpleton.
Modern luxury carmakers, perhaps inspired by the Cruise-O-Matic General Motors of the 1950s, seem intent on giving every last part of their vehicles a slick, consumer-friendly name. Engines aren’t just engines; they’re TripleBoost ModPower SupaDrive SmoothRunners. And transmissions are GearFormance StepMaster xShifter Pros. And among luxury carmakers, BMW may be the most devoted namer of things — surprising, perhaps, for a company that uses numerical designations for actual cars while giving brake pads and bonnet latches names worthy of JRR Tolkien.
It takes an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink model like the new BMW M760Li xDrive to really highlight the practice. This extra-large executive express, which is set to debut at the Geneva motor show in March, packs a veritable Marvel Universe of superheroically named pieces.
The centrepiece is a new 6.6-litre V12 — that’s the M Performance TwinPower Turbo 6.6-litre V12 to you and me. It produces 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, which is sufficient, claims BMW, to launch the car from zero to 62mph in 3.9 seconds.
In standard spec, the top speed is electronically limited to 155mph; with the requisite M Driver’s Package, the limit (still computer-governed) rises to 189mph, although the model-exclusive speedometer extends to 205mph — you know, to accommodate high-altitude tail winds. There’s also a M760Li xDrive V12 Excellence model that tones down the standard car’s M-ness (it has a 160-mph speedometer) but amps up its Rolls-Royce-ness (it has a wood-rimmed steering wheel and a hushed exhaust).
Power reaches the wheels — all four of them, thanks to BMW’s rear-biased xDrive all-wheel-drive system — via an eight-speed (Steptronic Sport) automatic transmission, which includes GPS-aided shifting, à la the Rolls-Royce Wraith. The suspension (or Executive Drive Pro system, as ye shall know it) uses Active Roll Stabilisation to contain body motions and a four-wheel Integral Active Steering system to improve manoeuvrability.
The 20-inch wheels feature a stylin’ Cerium Grey Metallic matte finish.