I’m currently the best version of myself. I’ve learned the system from junior ranks, raised children who are now industry mavericks and I’m competing physically with people half my age. I’ve lived among cultures, been the cover of entrepreneurial magazines, I dress well, smell even better and get mistaken for Idris Elba at times.
A connoisseur of luxury I’ve driven many exclusive brands and can recite the stats – it’s a passion I took from a young age. I’m a little blasé about my Range Rover Autobiography and breakfast runs are the only time I can fully wring out the Ferrari. My friends keep pointing out that my collection needs a Porsche but which one?
Stopping me from buying an S-Class is my neighbour Steve. He has an S-Class and we all know that he’s not the type of person that will let it slide, the fact that I’ve copied him. What do I get then? I need something that epitomises success in an understated manner. Having a car that will depose those young guns in their BMW M4s is not going to be easy in something that shrouds two tonnes so elegantly.
Themba keeps urging me to consider the 7 Series – specifically the M760Li. He says that’s what he would drive if he were in my position at my age. Maybe he’s right, I do admire his sense of restrained style so I agree to an appointment.
He leads me towards a black 7 Series with a V12 badge on the side that does a terrible job of being inconspicuous. Thought nobody was making these engines anymore, maybe something of a unicorn with two whopping turbos for Grand Touring thrust.
Sitting inside feels like the converging point between Emirates First Class and BMW’s sporty M5. The 2018 BMW M760Li is excessively lavish with all the flagship subsystems and some I haven’t seen before. The technological aids can be a bit obtrusive but in time I’ll personalise what I want shown and what will stay hidden. There’s a scent in the car that’s woody, which I’m told is a feature carried through by the car’s climate control. To evaluate a car’s audio I instinctively tune my ears to Queen’s seminal rock album where the Bowers and Wilkins stereo system isolates every instrument of Bohemian Rhapsody with immense clarity, adjusting the EQ depending whether I want studio accuracy, cinema surround sound or well-heeled cocktail bar.
In Sport, as the final climax to the song is about to begin with “On me! On Meee” I summon a syrupy collection of twelve cylinders, 48 valves, two turbos, Double VANOS variable cams with my right foot but the inevitable extreme forces barely tug at the car’s chassis even though I can feel my stomach tensing and organs twisting and knotting into one another.
A car as long as a boat feels nimble and graceful – a 6-foot ballerina around corners. Sure, extra care is needed to pirouette the M760Li 448kW and 800Nm on public roads but the xDrive four-wheel drive system keeps me in line with minimal drama.
A highly persuasive argument, this M760Li. The BMW that gives me everything they offer in one vehicle. Performance, luxury and status all crammed in 6.6 litres of engine and enough technology to confuse my millennial son. It’s not cheap for a car that doesn’t boast an aura of bespoke handcrafted finish but it’s a contender for every category you can name so long as you’re not keen on harrumphing around off-road. FRANCISCO NWAMBA
- R2 796 936
- 6592cc V12, turbo petrol, AWD, 448kW, 800Nm
- 12.8l/100km, 294g/km
- 0-100km/h 3.7secs, 250km/h
- Tester’s note: One of the best BMWs out there. It’s a combination of immense power, luxury and status