Why on earth has BMW taken a long-wheelbase, luxury limousine full of soft headrests and adjustable interior lighting and fitted it with a “bonkers” 6.6-litre, V12 engine, wonders Jeremy Clarkson in The Sunday Times. Why has the company made it accelerate faster than most Porsche 911s? Why has it given it four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering so you can “take country roads as if you’re in a Caterham”?
Perhaps BMW was just forced by marketing and its own history of making the “ultimate driving machine” to come up with something a bit different from its main Mercedes competitor and a bit downmarket from the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Whatever the reason, the BMW M760 Li “looks fantastic”. The turn of speed will blow your mind, and “you’ll not believe how planted it all feels when the going gets twisty”. Somehow BMW has this huge limo “handle, grip and go like a hot hatch”. It’s “tremendous”.
It is certainly “deeply fast”, agrees Ollie Marriage in Top Gear. Over the second half of the rev range, it’s “blistering”. And although the car is 5.2-metres long and weighs more than two tonnes, it feels well balanced and capable when you pick up the pace. You couldn’t call it fun to drive exactly, but it’s highly capable, and just as enjoyable from the palatial back seats.
From there you can relish the “crypt-like” silence while it delivers its “heady” combination of speed and luxury. No one will need this car in their lives, says John Howell in Autocar, but if you can afford one, should you want one? “Hell yes.” As a car for crossing large distances in total comfort, it’s a gem. If the roads are treacherous, it will cope; if the roads are a treat, it will delight. It’s a wonderful place to sit for a long drive.
Price: from £132,310
Engine: 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12
0-60mph: 3.4 seconds
Top speed: 189mph