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Lightning Lap 2017: BMW M760i

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 9/5/2017 K.C. COLWELL, JOSH JACQUOT, TONY QUIROGA, AARON ROBINSON, ERIC TINGWALL

2017 BMW M760i
Lap Time: 3:07.6

Class: LLTransporter

Base Price: $156,495

As-Tested Price: $171,895

Power and Weight: 601 hp • 5058 lb • 8.4 lb/hp

Tires: Michelin Pilot Super Sport, F: 245/40ZR-20 (99Y) R: 275/35ZR-20 (102Y)

Despite riding on air springs, adaptive dampers, and electronically adjustable anti-roll bars, the M760i doesn’t offer a single driving mode that can rein in the abundant squish in its suspension. This is Veuve Clicquot ride quality, wafty enough that drinking from a champagne flute in a moving car seems like a perfectly reasonable proposition. But VIR’s turns aren’t the graceful sweepers of Germany’s autobahns, and we’re not paid chauffeurs.

Driven without regard for the tycoon in the rear, the M760i is softly sprung, underdamped, and prone to large roll heaves. Venture too far up the curbing as you blaze the Climbing Esses at an average speed of 111.9 mph, and you’ll be halfway to Oak Tree before the body settles again. Pinkie-finger-light steering adds to the sense of uncertainty.

Lightning Lap 2017: BMW M760i© K.C. COLWELL, JOSH JACQUOT, TONY QUIROGA, AARON ROBINSON, ERIC TINGWALL Lightning Lap 2017: BMW M760i

If the M760i’s chassis is reluctant, though, its twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-12 is plenty eager. A potent 601 horsepower propelled this 7-series to a 150.5-mph peak speed—faster than the Nissan GT-R Track Edition, despite that car’s sizable weight-to-power advantage. And while the M760i lords only a single horsepower over the Alpina B7, sonically speaking, the 12-cylinder is a Grand Canyon full of McIntosh tube amps compared with the compressed MP3 of the twin-turbo V-8 in the Alpina.

The M760i should have run faster, but the 5058-pound sedan balked at the prospect of hustling any harder. Early in our lapping, the V-12 stumbled in the upper reaches of the tachometer, lapsed into a low-power limp mode, and showed a check-engine light accompanied by low-fuel-­pressure codes. Clearing the codes returned the engine to its glory, but that fix rarely lasted long enough to complete a lap with full power. In our fastest run, the engine started loafing 900 feet before the finish line. Explain to us again how the BMW M badge, even the diluted M Performance one, got within 20 feet of this thing.

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