BMW’s Grandest 7 saloons

With the facelifted Mercedes-Benz S-Class looming on the horizon, the BMW 7 Series makes its presence felt with the range-topping 760i and 760Li models, set to take the fight to the finest in the segment.

By Kyle Kock

The 760i/Li’s front end is accentuated by the familiar kidney grille, now boasting a wider chrome frame and convex vertical bars, while the side is highlighted by chrome-plated “gills” with integrated repeat indicators and engraved “V12” reference to its powerplant, as well as model-exclusive 19-inch light alloy wheels.

The rear end features an additional chrome bar between the dual exhaust tailpipe exits for extra distinction. The tailpipes, two in each corner, are made up of rectangular units in chrome trim and cut at slight angles so as to be flush with the rear air dam.

Although the 760i features generous interior room thanks to its 3 070 mm long wheelbase, the 760Li with 140 mm longer wheelbase and 5 212 mm overall length, allows for particular ease of access to the rear seats.

Both models are powered by a 6,0-litre all-aluminium V12 with twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection, which produces 400 kW at 5 250 r/min and 750 N.m of torque from just 1 500 r/min. Mated with BMW’s new eight-speed automatic transmission, the 760i sprints to 100 km/h from zero in just 4,6 seconds – consuming just 12,9 litres/100 km on the combined cycle.

Both the 760i and 760Li come standard with Dynamic Damping Control, including Dynamic Driving Control operated at the touch of a button on the centre console, speed-related Servotronic steering assistance, and BMW’s Dynamic Drive anti-roll stability system. In addition, the 760Li features air suspension, with self-levelling on the rear axle. As an option, both models are available with Integral Active Steering offering speed-related adjustment of the steering angle on the rear wheels.

The emphasis on comfort is evident in the interior appointments such as the BMW Professional navigation system, automatic four-zone air conditioning, cruise control with automatic brake function, Park Distance Control and Automatic Soft Close doors. The luxurious ambience is supplemented by stainless steel door entry trim with illuminated cover, nappa leather upholstery, roof lining and sun visors in Alcantara, and wood trim in exclusive burr walnut.

The driver’s task is less arduous thanks to optional intuitive driver assistance systems including Lane Change Warning, Active Cruise Control, BMW Night Vision, Head-Up display, back-up camera and Side-View system. To supplement the bi-xenon headlamps, BMW also offers High-Beam Assistant and Adaptive Headlights including Bending Lights, variable light distribution, and adaptive headlight range control.

Don’t forget to see how the 750i fares against its S500 arch-nemesis in the May 2009 issue, on sale April 20.

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CAR magazine