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Issue Fifteen
January 26, 2005
2005 Detroit Auto Show
2005 Detroit Auto Show Photo Gallery
2005 Detroit Auto Show Awards
Best of Show: Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Best Buy: Toyota Avalon
Best Concept: Ford Shelby GR-1
Best New Vehicle for 2005: Ford Mustang GT
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2005 CES Show From Las Vegas
2005 LA Auto Show
Fall 2004 SEMA Show from Vegas
BMW 760
Cadillac CTS-V
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
Coming Next Issue
Chip Foose
VW Phaeton W12
Long Term Storage
Ultimate Ears

2004 BMW 760 Road Test & Review
BMW's Technology Flagship
By Steve Litscher

(December 14, 2004)

iDrive is still cumbersome and annoying

2004 BMW 760i offers great handling, power and luxury

Rear passengers of the 760Li are treated to first class accomodations

The 760i interior is spacious and well appointed

Go to
BMW 760i
Photo Gallery
Official Web site:
BMW North America
A honk of the horn forced my attention back to the road, and that's when it hit me - no matter how efficient or comfortable you are with using BMW's iDrive system, it is still a major distraction. I had almost run off the road while trying to adjust the radio station, and the driver behind me honked his horn to get my attention back where it should have been - on the road.

iDrive aside, the 2004 BMW 760 is an incredible car, one that earned huge accolades from our staff for its road manners, powertrain, comfort and dare we say, styling? The controversial 7-series has grown on us, and our staffers now fawn over the flagship from BMW. Comments about the 760i included, "The 760i looks muscular without being cold," and "BMW wheels have always been gorgeous, but the alloys on the 760i are downright sexy."

Those sexy 19-inch alloy wheels are stretched to the far corners of the car, not only to improve handling and stability but to give the car a sportier appearance. The traditional "twin kidney" grill of the 760i resembles BMWs of days gone by, albeit with a touch of a modern make over. The 760i further distinguishes itself from other seven-series cars with chrome accents and a little tattle-tale badge on the front fenders that reads V12.

And speaking of tails, there's that rear end. And while it's still a bit abrupt, we're learning to like it. One staffer noted that the E65 body style bares a striking similarity to the E39 profile by pointing out, "If you look closely, the E65's C-pillar is more E39 [previous generation BMW 5-series] than the E60 [current generation BMW 5-series]."

Inside, the 760i is nothing but first class. From the large and comfortable, 14-way power, heated and ventilated, massaging rear seats to the infamous Alcantra suede headliner, the 760i pampers its occupants. The perfect fit and finish of the wood-trimmed and brushed aluminum accented interior further reinforces a sense of stately quality, and while the $109,000 price tag on the 2004 760i may exceed what many folks in rural America have paid for their homes, we can honestly say that it wouldn't be difficult to live in the 760i - it's that comfy.

In addition to the top notch fit and finish, the BMW 760i boasts some incredible technological achievements. Inside, there are individual climate controls for all four corners of the cabin. When combined with the power seats that offer ventilated heating or cooling and massage functions, it's easy to be lulled into a complete state of relaxation - great for whisking away the stresses of the day. Conversely, a secondary iDrive unit resides in the rear cabin, perhaps so that your passengers can share in your frustration (or find reason to activate the soothing massage features of the seats).

But don't let all of the luxury features fool you into thinking the 760i is a hoity-toity, high brow avenue cruiser. The real technology sits under the hood, in the form of an all-aluminum, 6.0-liter V12 with double overhead cams and a Bi-Vanos Valvetronic system that generates 440 horsepower along with 444 pound-feet of run-flat roasting torque. BMW assures us that the 760i motor shares nothing with the previous generation's 5.0-liter V12. No sir, the boys from Bavaria really tweaked their thinking caps for the new powerplant.

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