Earlier this week BMW revealed the closest thing to a M7 we’ll get – the M760Li XDrive by M Performance, not M Power. This new range-topped 7-Series features a 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 (yes, you read that correctly) pumping out 600bhp/ 441kW and 800NM of torque.
Power is sent to all four wheels via a ZF 8-speed auto which results in a 0-100 km/h sprint of just 3.9 seconds. 3.9 seconds for a fully fledged luxo-barge is a frankly biblical achievement. That’s with the help of the standard launch control feature of course.
If you opt for the M Driver’s Package, which I’m sure your chauffeur would enjoy immensely, then the top speed gets raised from 250 km/h to 305 km/h. Just what you need to get to those make-or-break meetings on time. It even has quad active-flat exhausts which adjust the volume deepening on how hard you’re pressing the right pedal.
So it has all the power in the world but BMW, being BMW, have also fine tuned the handling. The M760Li uses the same ‘Executive Drive Pro’ suspension as the regular 7-Series but has been given a once over by the folks at M Performance. That means the air springs come with Dynamic Damper Control and Dynamic Drive to reduce roll around corners while minimising ride harshness. There are also cameras which scan the road ahead and readies the suspension to give the smoothest ride possible. Clever.
As you’d expect this car is brimmed with BMW’s latest high-tech wizardry. You get adaptive LED headlights with high-beam assist, BMW Gesture Control, Dynamic safety, and the latest BMW ConnectedDrive and iDrive systems (which, to me, is the best multimedia system on the market at the moment).
Because this isn’t a full M-Division car, the M760Li has a very subtle look about it. There are some ‘M’ badges here and there but nothing a delete badging option can’t fix. To most people this looks like any other 7-Series, which is great for sneaking up on sports cars.
Those wanting a bit more subtlety can go for the brilliantly named ‘V12 Excellence Design’ pack which forgoes some of the M Performance styling and active exhaust for a more discreet (despite the extra chrome) look.
Alternatively, if you wanted your fast 7 to stand out from the crowd you could always get the Alpina B7. Powering this is a beefed up version of the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 found in the 750i. Alpina have upped the power to 600bhp/441kW and 800NM of torque. Identical to the V12 M760Li.
Power is also sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed auto. That gets the B7 from 0-100 in an even quicker 3.6 seconds. 3.6 seconds! That’s faster than purpose built sports cars that are much lighter than this. Top speed is also more than the M760Li at 310 km/h.
If that wasn’t enough, the air suspension comes with active dampers, roll stabilisation, and adjustable ride height. At speeds over 220 km/h the ride height drops by 20mm. Which is pretty much useless in any country outside Germany. “Sorry officer, I wanted to drop my ride height by 20mm.”
The B7 also comes with rear-wheel steering, bigger brakes, and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres. Yup, the same sort of tyres used by Ferraris, Koenigseggs, and Lamborghinis. Overkill? Alpina have never heard of the word.
Both cars will go on sale later this year with prices expected to be announced closer to their launch dates. Interestingly, Alpina are considering entering the Australia/New Zealand market soon so there is a chance the B7 will be available here. Which one would you pick?