2017 BMW M760i xDrive
The triumvirate of power, luxury and exclusivity reign supremeNo Comments
Who says you can't have it all? The M760i isn't just a pricey luxobarge. It's a positively quick and relatively nimble steed for its sheer size. BMW pumped in all the driving tech it could, while also imbuing it with an engine that's quite uncommon these days, built more for power and performance than for anything resembling efficiency. The monstrous and butter-smooth 12-cylinder mill conjures up 601 horses and 590 lb-ft of torque that's on tap at decidedly low rpms, and you feel it all as you get off the line. There's never a dearth of power, and it surges to the driver's delight.
Ride Quality: The big Bimmer, even with huge 20' wheels, is one smooth ride, regardless of the mode you choose. Even in Sport+ mode, the M760i's adaptive suspension and air springs iron out bumps and gaps with aplomb and makes you feel like you're driving a British marque that's twice as pricey.
Acceleration: Quite possibly the best thing about the M760i is the silky smooth, ridiculously powerful V12 engine. And the fact that it has twin turbos it probably doesn't really need. Power comes on without ever feeling harsh, and it never lets up with the sheer thrust. Pedal progression is smooth, and the specially mapped transmission delivers the power to all four wheels incredibly well. It's one of the fastest cars we've ever driven, hitting 60 mph in a mere 3.5 seconds. Sport mode awakens the beast even more and delivers truly track-worthy shifts.
Braking: The huge brakes provide strong stopping authority. Pedal feel is progressive, and stopping distance is a mere 151 feet, very short for a car of this mass.
Steering: Though steering is good and provides heft in Sport mode, plus it's accurate and doesn't have any off-centeredness.
Handling: The adjustable suspension and light and rigid chassis, coupled with the big Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires perform masterfully, keeping the heavy sedan taut in corners, far more than something this big should ever be able to do.
This top-tier BMW has so much technology, it's downright dizzying, but once you figure everything out, it's truly incredible. It's as if BMW thought of everything both driver and passenger might want. You can manipulate the ambient lighting, adjust massage location and intensity and manage drive modes to your heart's desire. The M760i is truly a rolling bed of automotive and infotainment technology that will have the owner awash in the best that's available today. Bentley and Rolls-Royce build handmade works of art on wheels with infotainment tech peppered in out of necessity, but BMW builds a car whose technology is firmly entrenched in the entire driving experience.
Infotainment System: We love the current iDrive system that looks beautiful and functions incredibly well. The big 10.2' screen is vibrant and crisp. The only issue we had was fast forwarding songs streaming from our smartphones, a cumbersome process that's hard to figure out. The rear screens for the passengers are just as attractive and useful as the center screen.
Controls: The iDrive control knob works beautifully and actuates well. Even the handwriting recognition and gesture control are quite good. All buttons are easy to reach, and the rear seat even has its own control tablet to manage comfort functions from the back.
Bluetooth Pairing: Easy pairing with no issues. The system would occasionally unpair, but we couldn't determine if it was our phone or the car's system.
Voice Call Quality: Loud and clear with no transmission issues to speak of.
Though there's special badging and specific M Sport trim on the big M760i, it's the matte paint job that really sets it apart. It brings a special quality to a car make/model that most everyone's become familiar with (the standard BMW 7-Series, that is). The exterior touches like the big intakes, contrasting side mirrors and special wheels and brakes certainly add exclusivity to an already very attractive automobile.
Front: The twin kidney grilles on the M760i are just about the biggest we've ever seen on a BMW, and the darkened trim doesn't do much to diminish the size. They look great adjoining the inner headlight portion, as do the huge air intakes with contrasting brushed silver trim.
Rear: There's not much difference from the standard 7-Series, except for quad exaust tips (twin barrel units within a single unit on each side) and reflectors that sit higher on the bumper.
Profile: The long wheelbase car is lengthened even more with the long body crease and the brushed metal finish highlight that runs along the base of the doors. We like the fact that there's no chrome and that the windows are treated with black trim. It's a handsome look that befits a sporty-luxury sedan that costs more than a one-bedroom condo.
Cabin: Though the interior doesn't feel as opulent as a Bentley or a Mercedes Maybach, it's beautifully done with Nappa leather, premium wood and a luxurious Alcantar headliner. Everything looks and feels rich.
Step in side the M760i, and you're awash in clean, German luxury. The rich, hand-stitche leather seats with head pillow cushions, the custom ambient lighting and the brushed metal speaker covers all contribute to a special interior that's still very much BMW. You even get a fragrance atomizer, full massage seats and library quietness.
Front Seats: Big and supportive, there's near-infinite adjustability, superb massaging to either relax or stimulate you and heat and ventilation to make you climate complacent wherever you go.
Rear Seats: It's a toss-up to decide whether you want to ride in front or in the rear executive seating. Behind the front passenger, you can send the front seat forward and deploy a footrest with serious reclination that will send you into a nap in no time. .
NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The only sound that seems to intrude is the piping in of big, and bellowing V12 engine, which seems totally unnecessary. At least it sounds damned good.
Visibility: Good visibility out the front (despite the long hood) and sides, though the rear view gets compromised by
Climate: copy text
The 7-Series hasn't been tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA since they're not considered mainstream cars. BMW would have to pay for the testing, and that hasn't occured.
IIHS Rating: Not tested.
NHTSA Rating: Not tested.
Standard Tech: The M760i benefits from a rather large list of standard safety equipment that includes Adaptive Headlights, brake drying, Daytime Running Lights, Emergency Braking Preparation. Lane Departure Warning Accident Avoidance System, Post-Collision Safety System, Pre-Collision Safety System, and Emergency Braking Assist.
Optional Tech: Adaptive cruise control with Traffic Jam Assistant, rear collision prevention and cross-traffic warning functions, and a night vision display.
The M760i has a larger quantity of storage spaces than it does in the area of capacity for a single compartment. That being said, there's still plenty of places you can store small gear in both the front and the rear.
Storage Space: The large sliding wood door in front of the gearshift knob houses twin cupholders and a small cubby for keys and phone. The center armrest isn't big because of the Qi-compatible phohe charger. The second row armrest houses the retractable airlines tables and headphones for the rear entertainment system, so there's not much room in there. Thankfully, though, the sliding compartment in front of the armest is good for small item storage.
Cargo Room: The 18.2 cubic feet of trunk space is pretty big, eclipsing the S-Class's rather small 10.4 cubic feet and even the A8's 14.2.
If it's efficiency you're looking for here, you're clearly barking up the wrong tree. V12s are thirsty, and when they're accompanied by a sport-minded transmission, a 5,100+ pound curb weight and a heavy foot, look out.
Observed: 14.6 mpg.
Distance Driven: 282 miles.
Driving Factors: We drove mostly in Dynamic mode, which drained the gas tank pretty fast. Eco mode is pretty dull and leaves the throttle lagging more than we'd like.
The top notch Harman Kardon system is excellent, and cranking up the volume doesn't distort things at all. The sound is rich, full and very clear. It was a pleasure to listen to, though we like the sound of the V12 that much more.
Final Thoughts Few folks will ever experience a car at this level. The M760i is prohibitively expensive for most people with its near $180K price tag when things get optioned out. That being said, if someone is in market for a high-end car that won't utterly numb the senses, the M760i is an excellent choice thanks to its levels of comfort, technology, speed, and agility relative to its size. BMW may never come out with an actual M7 car, but this is as close as it gets.