It’s unlike BMW to feel demur, but for reasons best known to Munich, it’s never felt the need to challenge the Mercedes-AMG S-class range with a fire-breathing 7-series. Until now: meet the new M760Li xDrive – it’s got a 592bhp 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12.
Seems the boys and girls from Bavaria still don’t think the luxury limo sector is ready for a full-on M-car, complete with the hardcore chassis and bodywork tuning that would entail. So the M760Li is one of those increasingly common M Performance models instead.
To decode the moniker a little further, the L means it’s only available as a long-wheelbase version of the 7-series, while the xDrive – as you’re probably aware by now – means it’s fitted with four-wheel drive. Which is handy when the 12-banger under the bonnet produces 590lb ft at just 1500rpm.
Oh, yes. The V12 is a fully paid up member of the M Division club, reaching peak power at 5500rpm and gunning this plutocratic rocket sled 0-62mph in just 3.9sec – which is 0.4sec faster than even the mighty Mercedes-AMG S65 and its 621bhp biturbo V12 can manage. Special M calibration for the eight-speed automatic gearbox helps with this process, as does the 7er’s weight-reducing Carbon Core structure.
Top speed is limited to the usual 155mph ceiling – but only if you don’t spec the optional M Driver’s Package, which extends the M760Li’s reach to a governed 189mph. Which just about brings it into line with the recently introduced Audi S8 Plus. Want four doors and a big boot? Then you’ll need a Bentley or a Rolls in order to go faster.
M Division isn’t claiming anything too drastic here, except to say the xDrive has been given a greater rear bias. Just what that running-late-for-the-boardroom exec needs. There’s also a set of 20-inch lightweight wheels finished in Cerium Grey metallic, but otherwise it’s the regular Executive Drive Pro suspension setup (complete with active anti-roll tech) and Integral Active (four-wheel) Steering, both fitted as standard.
However, rival powerbrokers/CEOs/street gangs ought to hear you coming, thanks to the new M sports exhaust with active V12 assault flaps. Visual identifiers include the blue calipers for the new 19-inch M Sport brakes, and a (commendably subtle) M aerodynamics makeover. If this last is still too gauche you can actually order the M760Li without it as part of the no-cost-optional ‘Excellence’ specification.
There’s more Cerium Grey accenting in various places (much of which is replaced by chrome on the Excellence version), plus a smattering of all-important, ‘downsizing who?’ V12 badges – including on the illuminated door sill finishers. For the record, the M760Li emits 294g/km and claims 22.4mpg; oil company directors will be falling over themselves.
The interior gets a bunch of M logoed trinkets, as you’d expect, while UK cars include an upgrade to Merino Leather included in the cost; elsewhere in the world customers will make do with Nappa as standard. As per every new 7-series, there’s a huge selection of technological whizz-bangery at your disposal income’s disposal – from gesture control infotainment to semi-autonomous driving assistance.