By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel
MUNICH - July 20, 2009: BMW’s flagship, the 7 Series, will soon be
available with a brand new 12-cylinder engine. Both the BMW 760i and 760Li
will get a 6-liter V-12 with 400 kW/544 hp and 750 Nm/533 lb-ft torque. The
V-12 works together with the new 8-speed automatic transmission that was
unveiled during the EfficientDynamics workshop at the new Aerodynamic Technology Centre a
couple of weeks ago.
I remember that in the mid eighties, the BMW 750i was the first post
war car that got a 300 hp strong 12-cylinder engine, teamed to a 4-speed
automatic transmission. The 750i, accelerates from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in
7.4 seconds and its fuel economy averages 13.3 l/100 km (17.7 mph).
With the latest BMW engine technology, such as TwinPower Turbo technology,
High Precision Injection and double-Vanos camshaft adjustment,
the performance of the new V-12 with an acceleration time of 4.6 seconds is
much faster. In the meantime, fuel efficiency improved to 12.9 l/100 km
(18.2 mpg) and CO2 went down by 8 percent to 299 g/km, which is best in
Those figures mean a lot, when you realize the sizes increased in
all directions and the weight went up from 1780 kg (3924 lbs) to 2180 kg
(4806 lbs), which is more than 22 percent.
BMW used aluminium for the bonnet, roof and doors to keep the
‘Siebener’ from getting overweight.
So, there we are, in BMW Welt to pick up my new 760 Li (for a day),
like you would if you had bought a new car and would have opted for the
‘European delivery’ in Munich. When I walk towards the car, I
have to look twice. “It is white.” I say to Johan Kistler,
project manager for the 7 Series, who accompanies me, "Sure, it is white. White is popular nowadays. For the new 7
Series we have a strong demand, some 12 percent of our customers want
white, in this case sparkling white. For the plain white we had 9 percent,
this is more stylish.” " That I’ll have to bear in mind: maybe
my next car should be trendy and white!
Opening the door is an invitation to sporty elegance of the light
interior. The nappa leather has beautiful double stitching and a lace like
perforation from top to bottom in the middle of the seats make you want to
touch it, to feel if its softness.
The same goes for the alcantara roof
lining and the dark nappa on the dashboard.
The Black Piano trim in‘my’ car are a perfect match. The interior for the V-12 model
was ‘marked up’ by BMW’s interior designer Nader
Faghizadeh, who had some fun to show the possibilities of the rear single
seat’s adjustment and massage. And also pointing out the huge leg and
hear room of 38.9” and 8.2” respectively.
But it is time to get behind the steering wheel and start the mighty V-12.
Do not expect roaring thunder, like the V-12 in the BMW V12 LMR race car
that won the 1999 edition of the 24 hour of Le Mans. Just let a
sophisticated rumble in the background brush your ears before you take of.
From then on you do not have to pay attention to sounds anymore, as there
are hardly any.
Click PLAY to watch video featurette of the new BMW 760 Li
What you notice is the power, when you take the entrance to the
Autobahn, and go with the flow in less than no time.
Overtaking that flow
is a question of seconds and before you know it you see 250 on the
speedometer. And as I am always driving new cars without the audio switched
on, I notice there still is hardly any wind, road or mechanical noise in
the interior. The engine runs smooth and softly, also on higher speeds the
revs are very low. Cruising really means cruising in a quiet and classy
ambience. But if you need power, there is a lot on demand, since maximum
torque is available from 1,500 revs and all the way to 5,000 rpm.
The power comes to the road via the 19-inch wheels with 245/45 R19 rubber
up front and 275/40 R19 in the rear.
The 8-speed transmissions shifts like a knife cutting though butter.
You do not notice it. What you do notice is the different mode of the
engine and transmission when you shift from Normal to Sport Mode by a push
on the button in the centre console. Then, the engine runs a couple of
hundred revs faster and you hear the transmission shifts is
‘preset’ for the next step up and down. The feel is not only
sportier, but also the reaction of the V-12 is somewhat more aggressive.
Steering, cornering, braking, changing lanes, it all goes in the
760Li in a royal manner, so to speak. There never is a feeling that the car
is pushing you, as often is the case with a more aggressive model. The 7
Series behaviour always seems to be sophisticated.
The 760Li I am driving has all kind of safety systems. When you look at the
beautiful scenery of Bavaria and you’re on the white line along the
road, the rumble in the steering wheel warns you: pay attention to your
If you are too aggressive and brake rather late, the system bleeps
and a red warning pops up in the head up display: brake please!
This BMW is meant for people who have a driver, who sit in the rear and
snuggle into the comfortable seats that stretch out and give you a massage
when you get home after a busy day. But BMW says, that a low of owners
often drive themselves. And right they are, or will be with this 760i. They
will cruise at comfort, hurry in style and they will love the performance
and the dynamic driving qualities of their luxury limo. With the new 760
you can have it both ways.
The V-12 model can be recognised by its shiny black B-pillars and
black bottoms of the rear view mirrors, the V-12 emblem on the sides and
the wide, chrome details along the roof and rear end and wide kidneys with
slightly outward contoured bars, while the four exhaust end pipes have a
The 760i and the long version will arrive on markets world wide.
The prices for the German market will be € 134,900 and €
The North American market will only get the 760 Li, the 205 inches
long version that will have a price tag of $ 136.600 plus $825 destination
and handling and will arrive in September.
The standard equipment includes:
• 8-speed automatic transmission
• Heated Sport Steering Wheel
• Integral Active Steering
• Active Roll Stabilization
• Automatic trunk gate closing
• Soft Close Doors
• Rear-view Camera
• Side View Camera
• Power Rear Window Shades
• Front and Rear Ventilated Seats
• Active Front Seats
• Rear Comfort Seats
• Ski Bag
• Heated Rear Seats
• Ceramic Controls
• New Burl Walnut Wood Trim with Inlay
• High Beam Assistant
• Lane Departure Warning
• Active Blind Spot Detection
• Head-up Display
• SIRIUS Satellite Radio
• Premium Sound System
• 6-Disc DVD Changer
• iPod/USB Adapter
• 19” Wheels
The optional equipment list is quite short and includes:
• Smartphone Integration $150
• BMW Individual Wood Steering Wheel $800
• Massaging Rear Seats $200
• BMW Individual Wood Trim $1,080
• Active Cruise Control $2,400
• Rear Seat Entertainment Package $2,200
• Night Vision $2,600
• M Sport Package $3,900
• 18” wheels with all-seasons No cost
• BMW Individual Composition $6,500