BMW M760Li xDrive V12 Excellence (2017) review

The M760Li xDrive ought to be a hairy saloon to drive but, in reality, is just a civil high-speed express.

What’s new?

Ever since the latest BMW 7-series went on sale, an array of engine types were available to choose from ranging from petrol, diesel to plug-in hybrid. If that’s not enough, there’s also a performance-oriented version sitting on top of the range for punters needing something a little more special and rarer: M760Li xDrive.

No, it isn’t the full-blooded M7, a variant that could theoretically fit in the 7-series model range but is still non-existent. In BMW speak, the M760Li comes from the M Performance sub-division that’s more like a second-from-top model.

The M760Li comes with 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 tuned to 610hp and is mated with eight-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels in the brand’s xDrive fashion.

Since the M760Li will set back buyers with at least 12 million baht apiece, the Thai BMW office has also chosen to highlight the V12 Excellence spec, as tested here, featuring design cues that give no hint to the M treatment.

V12 Excellence spec means no M badging on the outside.

What’s cool?

OK, the M760Li may be a two-tonne car. But with over 600 horses to play around with, it never feels asleep. In fact, the M760Li is hugely rapid when you decide to search for its true performance potential.

              Chassis is superbly set up.

And since BMW has chosen to make the M760Li a technological tour de force, there’s no shortage of the latest innovations in chassis engineering.

The xDrive all-wheel-drive system, for one, does a remarkable job in the making the M760Li feel rear-drive within the limit. It’s only when you push the car hardly out of corners that the front wheels start to counteract for a balanced handling.

At its governed top speed, the M760Li still manages to feel easy to steer and has lots of stopping power, as well. Apart from xDrive, that also goes down to the rear-wheel-steering system whose enhanced agility at low speeds and increased grip at high rates can be felt.

Spec-wise, nothing really needs to be questioned here because it’s a lavishly priced import, after all, with all kinds of amenities Thais have come to love and some types of driver-assist tech that have yet to be genuinely appreciated in this part of the world.

Stretched wheelbase means plenty of rear seat comfort.

What’s not?

Mention M and you might be expecting some thrills, especially from an engine featuring 12 cylinders. But the thing is, the M760Li is eerily quiet at all times – even when you engage the raciest of all driving modes. Of all M Performance cars on sale, the M760Li feels the most refined.

And because of the V12 Excellence spec, there are no M parts or labels around the car (aside the engine cover under the bonnet). If you want such racy bits, a request from a dealer is required.

The M Performance-tagged engine sounds unusually quiet.

Buy or bye?

There are many things to like about the M760Li. If you like a super-fast saloon that’s not exotically priced like a Bentley or Rolls-Royce, it’s the car to go for because it feels astonishingly engineered. Actually, the M760Li even manages to combine the high levels of driving and ride comfort normally found in those two British nameplates (BMW owns one of them).

There’s absolutely nothing wrong about making a comfort-oriented car a super-refined one with steroidal power. But rather than calling it the M760Li, this particular Seven is at its best as a regularly badged 760Li sitting above the already quick 750Li. And let the racy bits be called the usual M Sport trim.

Marketing tactics aside, this V12-powered 7-series is all about making speed feel so tame.



Back to top