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The Khulekani on Wheels crew getting ready to give @nicolettemashile a @bmwsouthafrica 760 Li xDrive experience. Dressed by @sacoorbrothers and @boss Sandton City #bmw #bmwsouthafrica #bmw7Series #7Series #sheerdrivingpleasure #luxury #class #suits #boss #hugoboss #sacoorbrothers 📸 @forever4tune
By Sala Masindane
There has never been a BMW 7 series M car, with the full M performance like the M3 or M5, this probably due to the size or luxurious nature of the 7 Series. However, BMW has then started building “semi M” cars like the M140 or the M240. This is also what has been done on the new M760Li series for those that need brute force of the extra power whilst, at the same time, offered by the 7 series. Recently we hosted the M760Li xDrive (all-wheel drive) got the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the long list of features that it comes with.
The key and exterior
Before we talk about the looks of the car, let’s take a moment to discuss the key. You’d be forgiven into thinking that a smartphone is used as the key. The size of the key is just smaller than a smart phone and has a screen to control some features in the car. On this screen, you can see if the windows are open, the doors are locked, how much range is left on the tank and you can also pre-setting the temperature inside the car before you enter to go to work. Crazy, right? Well that’s not the craziest thing about it; you can actual start up the engine and move the car forward or backwards without anyone being inside. The only trick about this is that it will not manoeuvre around but move in a perfect straight line. No more being stuck in tight parking spots.
The M760Li xDrive is identifiable by a “V12” badge on the C-pillar and the door sill plates from other models in the range. Completing the side profile of the long wheel base version is an M-logo and chrome detailing for not only aesthetics but also efficiency. At front, the large kidney grille and front apron strip is finished by a Cerium Grey. The same finish is used on the rear xDrive logo and the model badge. The M760Li xDrive rides on the 20-inch BMW Individual alloy wheels in W-spoke.
Step inside the M760Li xDrive and you are met by a business class like interior, but the only difference is that this one moves on land. Attention to the certain features has been heightened and some may be unnecessary. Some of the features we think are great but need a bit of practice to use, these are likes of “hand gestures”. Basically, you can turn up the volume, accept or decline phone calls, change songs or maximise the sat nav with just hand gestures that are directed at the sensors which are located within the infotainment system. This is not the coolest thing though, the 360-degree camera probably takes the cake. This is not your typical PDC and reverse camera. Using the same hand gestures, you can now get a 3D view of the car (as if there are cameras watching the car) just to be sure of your surroundings. We took Nicolette Mashile (financial literacy educator) on the M760Li xDrive experience and she got to experience the comfort of the back bench (Ed – It is probably appropriate to say lounge in this case) and she enjoyed the optional executive lounge (R54,700) where the two seats can be reclined while watching live TV or your favourite movie on the two back screens or pumping your favourite tunes on the Bowers Wilkins surround sound system. These features are controlled by a tablet, which can also be used to change the interior lighting, climate control, opening and closing of window blinds, navigation, turning on seat massaging and operating the panoramic glass roof. It is also worth mentioning that all of these can be changed using normal physical controls. Our test unit also had the optional cool box (R18,200) that will keep your refreshments chilled, it however minimizes the boot space.
The 6.6-litre twin-turbo petrol engine develops power outputs of 440kW and 800Nm. The massive machine is no slouch on the road, it is a V12 after all and does the 0-100 sprint in 3,7 seconds. This means you will probably be never late for a meeting and in terms of take-off it is faster than most sports cars. Well, let’s be honest you won’t be racing other motorists every day in the M760Li xDrive but either driving leisurely or being chauffeured. The daily driving is comfortable, and you feel isolated from all the road users as the car feels like you are cruising at altitude in a private jet. Honestly, it felt like a personal escape, whether it was the drive to work or going grocery shopping. The only drawback is that the 760Li is a large car and at times you must be overly cautious notwithstanding the numerous driver aids at your disposal. The steering feels light and the car moves through bumps without you, the driver, or passengers feeling them. Due to size of the M760Li xDrive, you’d expect body roll when going around corners at speed but with the anti-roll system this is limited. There are four different driving modes; Eco, Comfort, Sport and Adaptive at your disposal. Eco makes the car extremely frugal for a V12 and we saw ourselves consuming 13l/100km at some point. The V12 is paired with an eight-speed steptronic sport automatic transmission and it shifts smoothly in any of the driving modes but once in sports the M760Li xDrive is an aggressive animal. We are still not sure whether it’s a car to be driven in or to drive but for a base price of R2,806,400, the choice is all yours.
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