The BMW 7 Series has long been my favorite large executive-class sedan, and now I have another reason to love it: It just got the M treatment. Feast your eyes on the BMW M760i xDrive.
First things first: In a nod to past 7’ers, the M760i xDrive’s numerical nomenclature does tip its hat to the displacement of the engine, albeit not precisely. In this case, BMW says in a press release that the car gets an all-aluminum 6.6-liter gasoline V12 with M Performance Twinpower Turbo tuning that helps it develop a preliminary guesstimate of 600 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 590 lb-ft of torque from a low 1,500 RPM. That should help the big luxury sedan scoot to 62 MPH from a dead stop in just 3.9 seconds (!) on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 155 MPH, BMW said.
Partial thanks goes to the ridiculous amount of engineering BMW said it put into the engine. Of course, the twin monoscroll turbochargers are essential to these performance numbers. But the release said BMW engineers focused on reducing the engine’s weight while improving its rigidity. Meanwhile, the automaker said high-precision fuel injection with up to 2,900 PSI of pressure dispenses atomized fuel at ideal pressures and in perfect patterns. You can read a more exhaustive breakdown of BMW’s engine madness here.
An M Sport custom exhaust system caps off the engine with a setup that can control its baffling to provide everything from a hushed, luxury car ride to a “full-bodied” V12 roar, depending on driver inputs, according to BMW. Helping convert all that motive force from the V12 into actual propulsion is an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission with M Sport-specific tuning for sportier gear changes and quicker downshifts, according to BMW. And yes, the Bavarians included a Launch Control mode for drag-worthy takeoffs, the release said.
As any BMW fan will have noted by now, the name xDrive typically means all-wheel drive is on tap — and indeed it is. BMW says the system in the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive can vary torque fully between the front and rear axles even though it has been given a rear-wheel-biased tuning for sportier driving dynamics under most situations. There’s also Integral Active Steering, a setup that features a variable steering rack ratio as well as rear wheels that turn either in the opposing direction or the same direction as the front wheels depending on steering wheel input.
Also helping the Siebener’s directional stability will be huge 20-inch tires — 245/40s up front, and positively massive 275/35s in the rear. The cost to replace such rubber will not be for the thin of wallet — but then again, neither is any new 7 Series, M or not.
The BMW M760i xDrive also will feature BMW’s Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview, the press release said. BMW said it’s an active suspension control system that links up with two-axle air suspension and the Dynamic Damper Control system to improve spring and damper comfort and reduce vibrations. The system also aims to reduce roll at the front and rear axles, BMW said, with active roll stabilization now carried out electromechanically. Air suspension is standard — not new on the 7, mind you, though it has been tuned specifically for the M760i xDrive in this case, the press release said.
What’s it gonna cost you to get the Ultimate 7? BMW hasn’t said yet. But with a six-figure line of credit being a requirement to purchase almost any lesser 7 now, bet on it being mortgage-worthy. I’ll grant you not many executives probably buy their 7s outright — leasing is the order of the day in that profession — but those executive types probably aren’t going to spec the M760i xDrive, you know? A different kind of wealthy person, an enthusiast, will buy this to keep in his collection of M Sport BMWs or something.
What an addition to someone’s collection this monster would be. There’s something alluring about a large sedan that can handle itself well, and from all indications, the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive should do just that.
The BMW M760i xDrive is set to go on sale as a 2017 model sometime in the early part of 2017, BMW said.