Preview: 2010 BMW 760i

July 27, 2009

•    What is it: The most expensive, powerful 7-Series sedan in the BMW lineup
•    Key facts: 6.0-liter V-12 with 535 horsepower; eight-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
•    On sale: Now
•    Price: $140,000

The 2009 BMW 7-Series has ranked highly in TheCarConnection's luxury-car universe since its introduction late last year. Much improved in style, interior room and iDrive functionality, the new 7-Series lacked only one thing found in previous generations: a big V-12 engine.

That changes now, since BMW has put the 2010 760i and the 2010 760Li on sale in the U.S. The new car is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 engine that builds on the 7-Series' existing powertrains for a class-leading performance envelope. With four more cylinders under the hood, the V-12 760i and long-wheelbase 760Li turn in a total of 535 horsepower -- 135 hp more than the 400-hp, twin-turbo eights in the standard 7-Series.

Performance rises accordingly. BMW says the 760i will run from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds (4.6 seconds for long-wheelbase cars), and will top out at 155 mph. Price rises as well; the base sticker for the 760i is projected to be more than $130,000.

Like the 7-Series that appeared last year, the two editions of the V-12 sedan are replete with luxury features. Both the standard and long-wheelbase car (with 5.5 inches more rear legroom) get the new eight-speed automatic transmission, new 19-inch wheels and badging to distinguish them from V-8 cars, and also wear a slightly wider grille. Inside, stainless-steel trim is available, as well as nappa leather for the headliner and new walnut trim. A rear air suspension is fitted to V-12 cars, too.

Other standard equipment includes a navigation system; a DVD entertainment system for the rear seats, including a rear-seat iDrive controller; ventilated and massaging seats. Options include automatic high beams; lane-departure warning; night vision; and side and rearview cameras.

We'll report back from our first drive of the new 760i in the coming weeks--and later this summer, we'll be on the floor of the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show as BMW unveils its new 7-Series Hybrid sedan along with the new X6 Hybrid.

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