Palm Springs, California, USA -- BMW Group says its new 7-series M760Li model will get a gasoline engine with twin turbochargers to boost the power of its flagship sedan to 610 hp, an increase of 70 hp over the model it replaces.
The M760Li, which is 5238mm long and weighs 2180kg, generates 800 newton meters (590 foot-pounds) of torque, which helps it accelerate from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds, BMW said in a release.
By comparison, the previous 7 series fitted with a normally aspirated V-12 powerplant delivered 540 hp and took 4.6 seconds to reach the same speed.
AWD to handle torque
To safely handle 610 hp, the M760Li will come standard with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system as the new model was set up to always provide as much torque as possible to the rear wheels. With that much torque available, the M760Li's eight-speed automatic transmission starts in second gear. First gear is reserved for steep uphill roads.
Sales of the 6.6-liter V-12 gasoline-powered model will begin this month in Germany priced at 166,300 euros. For that price is possible to get two base versions of the current 7 series, which start at 81,900 euros in Germany, and still have 2,500 euros left over.
BMW expects the M760Li to sell best in China and the U.S. rather than in Europe. The automaker anticipates that China will account for about 36 percent of the sedan's sales, with 24 percent going to the U.S. and 10 percent to the Middle East.
Although the 7 series is popular in Europe, 77 percent of the volume has a diesel, the automaker said. Customers favor models with BMW's 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel, which is offered with outputs of 265 hp to 400 hp.
The M760Li, which will be built at BMW's plant in Dingolfing, Germany, is part of what BMW calls its M Performance models, which are sportier variants of standard models but the cars are not as extreme as models from its M in-house tuning division. Both M Performance and M models are built by BMW M GmbH, the company's high-performance subsidiary.
"This is the first time we have added an M Performance variant to our 7-series flagship and we are very pleased with the technical results we have achieved," said Peter Quintus, vice president sales and marketing at BMW M.
As with many German-made models, the M760Li has an electronically limited top speed of 250 kph (155 mph), but the addition of the optional M Driver's Package -- which is offered in Germany for 2,450 euros -- boosts the top speed to 305 kph (189 mph).
The new M760Li is fitted with the same extensive package of driver assistance systems launched with the new-generation 7 series, which includes steering and lane control assistant, rear-collision prevention and crossing-traffic warning functions.
Traffic-jam assistant -- BMW's name for it semi-automated driving technology -- can be used on any type of road in the new model. In addition, the active cruise control now only requires drivers to press a button to incorporate speed restrictions detected by the on-board camera.
Last year BMW M increased sales by 9 percent to 67,900 units. The breakdown was 37,500 sales for M models and 30,400 for the M Performance variants.