Being a motoring journalist means I get to see and drive many new cars all around the world, a very privileged job to have in so many ways.
I won’t spoil the illusion by telling you all about the many days away from home, the birthdays missed, the first days of school you don’t get to see, or the thousands of hours stuck in airports, and not always in business class like you think.
Because no matter which way you slice or dice it, this sure beats the hell out of sitting in an office all day waiting for the clock to hit 4:30. And as much as this is my basic job, my actual speciality is that I am a bona fide road tester.
There are a very few of us in the country, or around the world for that matter.
And driving a car and offering an opinion on what it has to offer from a non-technical, every nut and bolt point of view is perfectly fine because there are customers, and readers for that matter, that are just interested in the looks and feel of car, versus exactly how fast it is or how it handles at a limit they would probably never go near.
We ourselves cover more of the lifestyle aspect of a car in our publication for this exact reason, but there are many cars out there that could be spoken of in these less technical, dynamically driven terms.
Then you have cars that are built to set performance benchmarks, and these cars, in my opinion, are all about the numbers, the bragging rights for their owners, and this is where my particular skill set comes into play.
I take the car out to the world class Gerotek Testing Facilities just west of Pretoria. I use worldwide industry accepted benchmark Racelogic VBOX test equipment and follow the same test procedure from start to finish with each and every car tested, recording all the relevant technical data, in order to bring you the best real world test results I can.
And BMW’s M760Li xDrive was exactly such a car begging to be let loose at Gerotek, where you can defy physics over and over and have as much legal fun one can within a controlled environment.
BMW are adamant that we will not see an M7, and that the M760Li is an M Performance offering only, but what an offering it is, M badge or no M badge.
On paper the numbers speak for themselves, the 6.6-litre V12 develops 448kW of power at 5 500rpm and peak torque of 800Nm from as low as 1 550rpm running down to all four wheel BMW M760Li xDrive – mindblowing through an eight-speed sports automatic transmission.
And I can assure you, they translate into scorching performance on the road too.
A little side story, before I took the car to Gerotek, I attended a BMW Car Club Gauteng Autocross event with the BMW, and on the way there, my good friend Paul decided to have a little go against this limo, that we all know should be driven by an older more distinguished gentleman than me, from the traffic lights in his Porsche GT4.
Needless to say it was a hiding, and it was summed up by saying that picking on this 760Li is like starting with an older gentleman with surpring strength.
Okay, we were a little less polite, but you get the idea. In the interest of complete honesty, though, although the 760Li did exceptionally well at the tight Autocross, and finished near the top overall, Paul did have his revenge and gave me a hiding through the cones.
But back to the actual test. Thanks to all wheel drive and launch control, the big 2.1 ton executive sedan blasted to 100km/h in just 3.75 seconds, hit the quarter mile at a just as quick 11.85 seconds and, believe it or not, stopped at its electronically enforced speed limiter of 252km/h a full 23m before I even got to 1km.
To put this into perspective, if you have the likes of a giant killing Nissan GT-R, you are going to work exceptionally hard to stay with this 7 Series after you have launched. Sure, it comes in at a proper R2 699 900 and is packed with every luxury and piece of tech you could ever want. But, who cares.
The BMW M760Li xDrive is the fastest sedan we have ever tested.