The first sign that you aren’t driving something ordinary can be found to the right of the parking brake button, just under the infotainment system’s rotary dial. That’s where the 2018 BMW M760Li xDrive tells you just what it’s packing under the hood, a mighty V12 engine that’s oddly advertised in various places on and in BMW’s flagship sedan.
V12’s are a dying breed in the automotive industry, and currently the most affordable vehicle powered by a 12-cylinder is the M760Li. The fact that is starts at $162,200 is certainly a testament to just how rare this type of engine is. The most exclusive 7 Series you can get is certainly in good company, sharing its V12 club membership with the likes of the Aston Martin DB11, Ferrari 812 SuperFast, Lamborghini Aventador and everything from Rolls-Royce.
Regardless of the engine found under the hood, the 2018 BMW 7 Series is a fantastic vehicle. It’s not as sporty as previous-generation 7 Series models, but it’s still features the sharpest, most dynamic handling and agility of any full-size luxury sedan while also being on par with the S-Class and A8 when it comes to comfort. Only the Lexus LS will best it in this department, and honestly not by much.
Driving the 2018 BMW M760Li xDrive
BMW doesn’t officially make an M7 to rival the Mercedes-AMG S63/S65 or Audi S8 Plus, but the M760Li xDrive is the closest thing to it as you can imagine on paper. Granted, the M760Li is not loud nor does it try in any way to look or sound sporty. I used to think the BMW M550i was the ultimate sleeper until I drove this thing.
Capable of getting you to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds, the 600 horses under your right foot are quite tame. Ok, perhaps not tame, but they are certainly well-behaved. The M760Li goes about its business like it wants to help you and work with you to get you wherever you’re going. It won’t subtly nudge you to try its legs out on a track like anything from AMG might, and the exhaust note, while noticeable, doesn’t growl or scream.
This thing is as refined as anything I’ve driven from Bentley or Rolls-Royce. It feels likes it’s hovering a few centimeters off the ground, and yet the steering is tight and perfectly weighted. When you start cornering, you feel like the M760Li has shaved half its length.
It’s so hard to criticize a car like this. Sure it’s expensive, but in actuality it’s not THAT expensive when you start looking at how perfectly balanced it is, the fact that you have a V12 engine, and that you are driving a car that reaches 100 km/h faster than a Porsche 911 C4S while offering ventilated rear seats complete with cushioned foot rests.
I mentioned earlier that the M760Li’s V12 isn’t loud. That’s not quite the case. Turn the driving mode to Sport and floor it, and you will hear that oh-so-rare V12 rumble. So yes, it’s there, but the exhaust note is like the rest of the car, perfectly balanced. A B7 Alpina sounds a bit louder and sportier, as does the S63 from AMG. Oh, and then there’s the ridiculous sound of the Audi S8 Plus.But then again, none of these cars, regardless of the fact they are basically as fast at the M760Li, have a V12.
And that’s a big difference. Now, you have to be careful when you have that much power in such a quiet vehicle. You’ve heard this before, but some cars make it very hard to tell just how fast you are actually going. The M760Li is the perfect example.
On the German autobahn, I can’t imagine how great it would be. On a North American highway limited to 100 km/h, well, you can’t just drift off into your own thoughts no matter how easily that can happen in a car like this. Think for a minute about your summer vacation plans, and you’ll be hitting 180 km/h. At least the brakes, like the suspension, are quite capable at handling all of the power.
The 2018 BMW M760Li is a lot of things. It’s incredibly comfortable, beautifully crafted inside, remarkably quiet and exceedingly powerful. It’s also exclusive, both under the hood and out on the road where you won’t see a lot of owners enjoying their M760Li like you undoubtedly will. This is where I could tell you that the only drawback is the price, but let us be reminded one more time that this is the most affordable V12 car for sale today.