If you in­sist on a V12 li­mou­sine that is as con­tent at the race­track as it is at the of­fice, few match the 760Li


IT seems at odds, the no­tion of a stretched lux­ury sa­loon with per­for­mance abil­i­ties. Who would want both char­ac­ter­is­tics in one car? BMW, how­ever, cer­tainly be­lieves there’s a niche mar­ket and has plugged it by meld­ing the re­fined and com­fort­able ex­tend­ed­wheel­base 7 Se­ries with the big­gest and most pow­er­ful en­gine it could find in its arsenal: a 6,6-litre V12 with dual tur­bos.

Save for a slightly more ag­gres­sive front bumper with larger air in­takes and a sub­tle rear spoiler, there isn’t much in the way of styling ad­denda that warns fel­low road users of the power you are pack­ing. What does give the game away, though, is a raft of M and V12 badges, and huge 20-inch wheels. And, of course, what hap­pens when you put your foot down.

With out­puts of 448 kw and max­i­mum torque of 800 N.m, BMW de­cided four-wheel drive was the best op­tion to con­trol these lev­els of grunt in a ve­hi­cle weigh­ing 2,2 tonnes. This ex­tra trac­tion has re­sulted in a claimed 0-100 km/h ac­cel­er­a­tion time of 3,7 sec­onds, which should be enough to see off most su­per­cars at the ro­bots. Sense and sen­si­bil­ity re­turn with a top speed lim­ited to 250 km/h, although you can opt for the M Driver’s pack­age that raises the limit to 305 km/h.

Each turbo on the V12 sup­plies a bank of six cylinders with in­ter­cooled, force-fed air. At the other end, large-di­am­e­ter ex­haust pipes re­duce back­pres­sure and in­clude flaps in­side the rear si­lencers that open when the sport but­ton is pressed.

The trans­mis­sion is ZF’S ex­cel­lent eight-speed Steptronic torque con­ver­tor that does the busi­ness with ease in drive mode. Choos­ing sport mode, how­ever, speeds up the gear changes, sharp­ens the throt­tle and elic­its a real V12 wail from the ex­haust pipes.

The con­struc­tion makes use of car­bon-fi­bre, es­pe­cially round the pas­sen­ger cell, thus re­duc­ing the mass as far as as pos­si­ble (with so many lux­ury fea­tures plus the added mass of the four wheel-drive com­po­nents, this car isn’t ex­actly a light­weight).

An­other thing you don’t nor­mally as­so­ciate with lux­ury li­mos is a race­track, but a confident BMW took us to its test track out­side Palm Springs to see how the M760LI would fare. We started on the tight go-kart track, where it was very clear what a dif­fer­ence the 7’s ac­tive roll sta­bil­i­sa­tion (now em­ploy­ing elec­tro-mechanical ac­tu­a­tion in­stead of hy­draulic) made be­tween drive and sport

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.