New BMW 760i 2022 review
We try out the all-new BMW 7 Series in 760i xDrive form to see if the luxury limo is now better than ever
BMW isn’t bringing the V8-engined 760i to the UK and as good as it is, that’s no great shame. Most people still buy these cars to be chauffeur driven, and sticking a hulking great petrol engine under the bonnet does little for those in the back; if the 300-odd-mile range of the i7 won’t suffice then one of the plug-in hybrid models due in 2023 should do the trick.
While most of the comments we’ve already made about the i7 apply to the 7 Series range in general, one specific element has the ability to completely transform the character of the car: its powertrain.
All UK-sold 7 Series models will come with a plug. In addition to the pure-electric i7, there will be a pair of PHEVs: the 750e and the M760e – both with xDrive all-wheel drive. However, neither was available to drive on the initial launch; our only opportunity to drive a 7 with an engine rather than an electric motor came courtesy of the V8-powered, not-for-Europe 760i.
Stepping straight from the i7 you’re immediately made aware of sounds and vibrations that simply weren’t present in the electric car. That’s not to say the 760i is anything but brilliantly refined, but if we’re splitting hairs, it’s hard to ignore these muted interruptions through the seat base and steering wheel.
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It’s an issue unlikely to affect the 750e or M760e, both of which – providing there is sufficient charge in the battery – will silence their six-cylinder engines in traffic and when sitting stationary. Their 18.7kWh batteries should return between 50 and 54 miles on electric power depending on specification and wheel choice.
On paper, the 760i is half a second faster to 62mph than the i7, and while it’s certainly quick, it doesn’t have the same instant punch you’ll find in the EV. Where the petrol motor comes into its own is on character; the i7’s Hans Zimmer soundtrack can’t match the bassy tones of a V8.
The 760i will send its nose skywards under full throttle, just like the i7 does, the transmission upshifting earlier than you might expect when left to its own devices. You can take control using the paddles on the steering wheel, of course, making the process of charging gear a little more predictable.
You might expect the petrol car to feel a little more agile, being the best part of 400kg lighter. Truth is, with the i7’s batteries mounted so low, the centre of gravity is pretty favourable; the 760i is certainly no more direct or fleet of foot. Yet it still handles with surprising grace for a car this big and heavy.
Otherwise, near enough everything we’ve said about the EV also applies to the petrol car. Space in the back is generous, and comfort is near-faultless. Those opting for one of the PHEVs will get the same two-axle air suspension system found on the i7.
In addition, all UK 7 Series buyers get soft-close doors, a panoramic roof and adaptive headlights, four-zone climate control, Bowers & Wilkins stereo and a host of live services. The 750e plug-in starts from £102,305.
|Model:||BMW 760i xDrive M Sport|
|Price:||$113,600 (£98,120 est)|
|Powertrain:||4.4-litre V8 turbo petrol|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed auto, all-wheel drive|
|On sale:||Not in the UK|