A few months ago, I described the Lexus RC350 F Sport’s 3.5-litre powerplant as probably the most subdued sounding V6 out there.
That feat can actually be bettered, as we found during our recent week in BMW’s M760Li aka business class flight on wheels, the unaccustomed “L” referring to long wheel base of 3 210mm, 140mm longer than the standard 7 Series models. As befitting the premium brand’s most premium offering in sedan form which will set you back R2 806 400, this spectacular vehicle shamelessly goes in the face of the modern trend of keeping things green.
I care not for trees, shouts the prominent V12 badge on the C pillar and on the centre console finishing. As the purpose of this car is luxurious elegance which requires a cabin as serene as possible, you will not find a friendlier on the ear V12. In fact, it is quite astounding how quiet the 6.6-litre twin-turbo powerplant delivering 440kW/700Nm to all four wheels as the xDrive badge suggests via an eight-speed Steptronic Sport gearbox is during both hard acceleration and at cruising altitude, sorry, speed. And by hard acceleration I mean reaching 100km/h from a standstill in a tad under four seconds as BMW claims.
The top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h which can be increased to 305km/h optional M Driver’s Package. Although we need the Autobahn to put that to the test, we are convinced the M760Li can maintain those kinds of speeds in its stride while staying perfectly safe when there are no potholes lurking.
As expected, horses that are healthy need to be fed like Olympians and in the M760Li their thirst averaged around 17-litres per 100km during our week with the test unit. Far off the claimed consumption of 12.5l/100km. But the person who owns the car and foots the heavy fuel bills most probably won’t even sit in the driver’s seat.
Pretty much like the Lexus LS500 F Sport we drove recently, the M760Li is all about making the owner comfy in the rear and let the chauffeur handle the driving. And with all the goodies on offer in the rear what BMW calls the Executive Lounge, who wants to be burdened by operating a steering wheel anyway?
To start with, the fantastic Exclusive Nappa leather seats in the rear not only offers heating and cooling facilities as well as a reclining backrest complete with a foot rest on the back of the front passenger seat and comfort cushions on the headrests, but can also massage you to relieve stress after a long board meeting.
All at the tip of the finger with the Touch Command system which is found on a removable tablet mounted in the sizey centre console which also offers a soft touch leather armrest, drink holders and a myriad of ports. And the tablet allows you to control pretty much everything except for the driving equipment.
To enhance the experience in the rear there is also dual climate control, automatic side window blinds, a rear window blind, an additional panoramic roof to the one in front and a tilting 10-inch screen on the back of both of the front seats which gives you to access the entertainment system or play movies on the Blu-Ray player grouped with the air vents on the back of the front centre console. And if you are not keen on using the audio jack to listen through earphones, then there is always the option of blasting the soundtrack over the superb Bowers & Wilken Diamond 16-speaker sound system enabling magnificent 3D surround sound.
As a precaution to the unsavoury event of another passenger who dares interrupt your phenomenal philharmonic experience of divulging into Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the doors feature an automatic close system for doors. This enables the doors to be closed conveniently without much effort or noise nuisance in quiet.
Fortunately our test unit did not have the 15-litre cool box in the rear, an optional extra at R18 200, as this driver was kind of getting fed up with the passengers having more fun than him. Another handy feature is the Ambient Air package featuring air ionisation and the choice of two scents to no doubt combat unwanted odours when passing middle class suburbs.