Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: October 11, 2017
The BMW M760Li is without a doubt one of the lesser known M Performance models, partly due to its mumbo jumbo infusion of letters and numbers. But during my week-long tenure with the M760Li, I’ve encountered a fair bit of criticism from passerbys, the main question being why I wanted to stick so many fake M badges onto my 7 Series, but I don’t blame these ignorant fools for thinking so. There’s an M badge everywhere you look: the rear, side fenders, brake calipers, wheel caps, and that doesn’t even include the ones in the cabin. And it doesn’t help that everyone and their mothers love to put fake M badges on their base fare X5.
But there are subtle hints to let these naive onlookers know that this isn’t your normal 7 Series. Far from it. Under the hood is a nuclear 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 producing 600 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque through a ZF 8-speed transmission linked to the GPS, and it is all sent to the four wheels via xDrive. It utilizes a sports exhaust, Michelin Pilot Super Sport wheels, and goes from 0-100 km/h in a dizzying 3.7 seconds, faster than your plebeian M3 or M4.
We last test drove the M760Li earlier in the year in Palm Springs on both road and track (you can read about our experience here), but now we had the opportunity to take one of these expensive land yachts home and live with it for a full week. First impressions? That the M760Li is viable alternative to the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Sound preposterous? Comparing the most expensive BMW and the cheapest (hah!) Rolls-Royce might seem like an odd proposition, but hear me out.
The BMW M760Li and Rolls-Royce Ghost both use the same 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 and produce similar power outputs. They use the same ZF 8-speed transmission that is linked to the navigation system so that it can predict and shift gears according to the terrain and upcoming roads. Both the Ghost and M760Li even lie on the same platform architecture and utilize similar buttons, rotary dials, and infotainment system.
Yes, the M760Li is more performance oriented. It weighs less, is faster around a track, has all-wheel drive, and marches on with a different automotive philosophy, but if you strip down the Ghost of its brand cachet, wood, metal, leather, and kilotons of sound insulation, you’re left with the bones of an M760Li. And you can get one of these Bimmers for less than half the price of the Ghost - a bargain if I ever saw one - not that the one percenters would really care. But say you’re not in the mood for the attention garnered by a Ghost, and trust me when I say that everyone will stare. Well, the BMW offers similar luxury in a sleek yet subtle package that blends into traffic better than a look-at-me-Rolls-Royce. Frankly, most people would have a hard time differentiating the M760Li from a 3 or 5 Series anyways. And the BMW has it beat when it comes to certain interior features, like having a heated steering wheel, remote control parking, Gesture Control, and rear lounge seats with a raisable footrest.
The driving experience is fairly similar between the two as well. You sit much lower in the BMW, but that V12 has such a distinctively suave character that you could blindfold me and I wouldn’t be able to tell if I was in a Ghost or M760Li. Well, until the ambient air fresheners on the BMW have been turned on - the Ghost has nothing of that sort. In either V12 application, forward acceleration is cloud-nine smooth and effortless, and both the BMW and Rolls have incredibly refined suspensions that soak up every bump on the road and glides across it like a razor on a shaved chin.
One area that the Rolls-Royce has an advantage over the BMW is the gearbox. They use the same ZF unit but Rolls has tuned it with more shine and polish. Both have their downsides: you can’t select your own gears in the Ghost while the M760Li suffers from some gearbox jerkiness when manually swapping gears in Sport Mode. Furthermore, in this driving mode the BMW’s gas pedal and steering wheel become more sensitive than a set of infected gums marinated with gingivitis.
The M760Li triumphs over the Ghost in driving emotion. Whereas the Rolls emits a quiet, majestic, and serene driving aura, the M760Li goes berserk and barks out of its quad exhaust pipes. That V12 has such a sonically pleasing note - much louder than the comparative Alpina B7 and even the Ghost Black Badge, and much more aggressive than any other BMW in the range. Check out our Exhaust Videos to listen to the M760Li soundtrack yourself:
The M760Li is a wonderful sports sedan, one that is able to terrorize the track while shuttling you home in comfort. Be that as it may, it’s still too softly sprung - the Alpina B7 does a superior job with suspension damping and transforming the 7 Series platform into a tauter and more agile specimen, especially with less weight in the front end with the use of its smaller V8. However that V12 is nothing to scoff at. As proven by Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin customers alike, the V12 has incredible appeal as there is just nothing quite like twelve even cylinders firing in unison. It takes over the entire car’s personality with straight line speed, noise, and effortless power. There really is no replacement for displacement.
That being said, if you’re in the market for a high-end V12 sports sedan and lust for use on both the road and track, then the BMW M760Li xDrive has you covered. It might just offer a better deal than the Rolls-Royce Ghost. You’d save a ton of money, and be able to use the BMW through all four seasons thanks to all-wheel drive. If you’re contemplating this decision, we envy you. But if we checked our lottery ticket this weekend and won the jackpot, it’s the BMW that we have our sights on.
型号 Model: 2018 BMW M760Li xDrive
顏色 Paint Type: Frozen Dark Brown
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $162,200
試車售價 Price as Tested: $182,700
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 3,210
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,248 / 1,902 / 1,479
車重 Curb weight (kg): 2,326
引擎 Engine: 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged V12
最大馬力 Horsepower: 600 hp @ 5,500 - 6,000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 1,550 - 5,000 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 8-speed ZF automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 17.6
輪胎尺碼 Tires: Michelin Pilot Super Sports; Front 245/40R20; Rear 275/35R20