BMW’s all-wheel-drive, twin-turbocharged V-12 flagship, the M760i xDrive, is an ultra-luxury car with a larger-than-life presence. It is certainly big physically, with a 124.6-inch wheelbase, 44 inches of rear seat legroom and an overall length of 17.1 feet, but everything about it, from the 601-horsepower engine to the test car’s matte finish paint and $179,895 price tag, makes it stand out.
The sixth-generation of BMW’s 7-Series sedan is an impressive combination of technology, comfort and performance and the M760i xDrive is the brand’s pinnacle. Spending a week with it was a Walter Mitty fantasy. It’s hard to be relaxed driving a car that costs as much as a house but it was an enlightening experience.
The M760’s base price is $156, 495, including the gas-guzzler tax and delivery fee. The test car had more than $23,000 worth of options, including $5,200 for the Frozen Dark Brown Metallic matte paint, $4,000 for the Merino leather interior and $5,750 for the rear Executive Lounge Seating that consists of a center console with foldout writing table and heated and cooled rear seats that recline and massage. There’s also a foldout footrest on the back of the front passenger seat. A removable seven-inch tablet in the rear console lets the rear-seat passenger connect to the internet as well as operate climate and media controls, ambient lighting and the sunroof.
All of this luxury might make you think that the M760i is a creampuff cruiser, but unleashing the prodigious power of the V-12 transforms this limousine into a vehicle that feels more agile than its 5,128 pounds would suggest. BMW says it can accelerate to 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed electronically limited to 155 mph. All-wheel drive is biased toward the rear wheels for more responsive handling in dry conditions.
The M760i floats like a feather and felt almost too soft with the ride control set to Comfort. Select Sport mode and the car immediately perks up. The transmission holds each gear longer and the adjustable suspension gets tighter. The car gallops like a thoroughbred. EcoPro is intended for optimum fuel mileage but it makes the car’s responses feel a bit flaccid. The Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview adjusts the car’s suspension settings by using the navigation system to know what is ahead. The air suspension that enables the driver to raise the car by 20 millimeters for steep driveways or rough roads and yet lowers itself by 10 millimeters at highway speeds for better aerodynamics. Shutters in the grille close at speed for optimum aerodynamics.
Driver assistance features include active cruise control with automatic stop and go that keeps a preselected distance from the vehicle in front and will apply the brakes if needed. Lane-keeping assist with side collision protection steers the car back into its lane should the car start to wander. The traffic jam assistant is a semi-automated feature that provides steering assistance when the driver has at least one hand on the steering wheel. This means the driver does not have to make tiny adjustments to the wheel while sitting in slow traffic.
The M760i’s overall length is noticeable in the tight confines of shopping center parking lots, for example, and it just barely fits in a standard two-car garage. The passenger cell has a section of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic into to improve rigidity while reducing weight. The doors and trunk are aluminum.
The gauge package is a 12.3-inch high-resolution LCD panel whose display changes depending on the drive mode. A wide screen in the middle of the instrument panel is used for navigation, audio and the around-car camera views that are so handy when parking. Some functions can be operated by simple gestures made near the screen.
It would take weeks to get familiar with all of the things this car’s technology has to offer.
The Bowers & Wilkins audio system is a $3,400 option that has a 10-channel amplifier and 16 speakers, many of which are illuminated at night.
There’s little question that the M760i xDrive is one of the top ultra-luxury sedans on the market, and while its price may seem stratospheric, it is comparable to competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz S600.
2017 BMW M760i xDrive
Engine: 6.6-liter, 601-horsepower V-12
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 126.4 inches
Curb weight: 5,128 pounds
Base price: $156,495
As tested: $179,895
MPG rating: 13 in the city, 20 on the highway