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BMW goes big with 12 cylinders of fury

The 2017 BMW M760Li packs a plethora of power under the hood with plenty of tech on the inside.

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Emme Hall
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Emme Hall

Editor / Cars

I love 2-seater, RWD convertibles and own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata for pavement fun and a lifted 2001 Miata for pre-running. I race air-cooled Volkswagens in desert races like the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000. I have won the Rebelle Rally, 7-day navigational challenge, twice and I am the only driver to compete in an EV, the Rivian R1T.

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BMW recently launched the new 7 series and now we get to see the M760Li xDrive here at the Geneva Motor Show. This luxury sedan sports a whopping 6.6-liter 12 cylinder engine, good for 610 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission.

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Under all that plastic lurks a beast of an engine.

Josh Miller/Roadshow

The idea of M badging can get a little nebulous at times. While this certainly is more M than your standard 7 series, you still need the optional M driver's package to electronically limit speed to 189 mph instead of the 155 mph on the base model. Hopefully this is a precursor to a full M version of the 7 series.

The M760Li has BMW's new gesture control system, which can control volume and accept or reject phone calls. You can also customize a specific gesture to a specific function in the iDrive infotainment system. New for this model is wireless charging.

A luxury sedan with all kinds of power (pictures)

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xDrive favors the rear tires in normal driving situations, but will distribute the power to all four wheels as the driving situation requires. Huge 19-inch brakes with painted blue calipers hide behind the 20-inch M light alloy wheels. Rear steering is standard.

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Larger air intakes, all the better to spin that turbo.

Josh Miller/Roadshow

There are some visual cues to the M-ness of the 760Li. Larger air intakes in the front fascia, galvanised cerium gray-colored trim and twin tailpipes are all clues to the exclusivity of this model. And of course it's badged within an inch of its life, with M logos on the side, wheels and steering wheel, and V-12 badges on the C-pillars, iDrive controller, rear center armrest and illuminated in the door sills.

If you want to fly under the radar, you can delete all the special badging and M aerodynamic package at no cost. Dubbed the M760Li Excellence, it substitutes chrome for the gray trim and a less aggressive exhaust note.

No word yet on pricing or availability, but expect the BMW M760Li to cost a pretty penny indeed.