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Roadfly Magazine
Detroit Auto Show, CES & Las Vegas Show, BMW 760, CTS-V and Jeep Reviews
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
Most Innovative: General Motors Sequel

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 760i Road Test & Review
BMW's Technology Flagship (continued)

2004 BMW 760i 6.0L V12

Behind the wheel of the BMW 760i

Behind the BMW Badge is a lot of cargo room

The BMW 760i is as sharp as they come - it's downright sexy

Go to
BMW 760i
Photo Gallery
Official Web site:
BMW North America
The 6.0-liter V12 utilizes direct injection, a first for a gasoline powered V12 (diesel powerplants have been using direct injection for some time, with great success). The benefits of direct injection include more power, smoother throttle response, increased engine efficiency and better fuel economy. Rather than having fuel delivered to the combustion chamber via an intake port, direct injection allows the fuel to be delivered precisely to the combustion chamber.

The change to direct injection does away with the traditional throttle body, and replaces the butterfly-like valve assemblies with infinitely adjustable variable intake valves. This technology is similar to that of the BMW M5 - there are 12 individual throttle blades, and each can meter air to its own port individually.

Other nifty touches include a liquid cooled alternator that increases output while reducing noise, a revised Bi-Vanos system (variable camshaft control), and a special silicon-impregnated aluminum alloy dubbed "Alusil" is used in the construction of the engine block and cylinder heads. The net result of all of these technological marvels is an engine that pulls hard, runs silk smooth and emits nary an unwanted sound into the cabin (save for at full throttle, where the engine sings with the best of them).

The six-speed automatic transmission performs in harmony with the big V12, and thanks to full manual controls (handily mounted at the "10-and-2 position" on the steering wheel in the form of push buttons), the driver retains the option of mixing things up himself whenever the urge strikes. Our only complaint about the 7-series transmission controls is the overly complex and unnecessarily tiny shift lever that's mounted to the steering column. We're sure it becomes second nature after a while, but therein lies the problem - a shifter stalk shouldn't require "training" to use.

On the road, the 760i is an absolute wonder. Never mind all of the technological magic that surrounds you, what's impressive is how well the car rides, drives, handles and responds. And while the 760i seems big when it's parked in the driveway, it conveys a surprising sense of svelteness on the road. We had to remind ourselves that the 760i weighs nearly 4,900 pounds as we pushed it hard through turn after turn, and hauled it down from sixty miles per hour in distances that rival most sports cars.

Most of the remarkable road manners are the direct result of an extremely advanced suspension system that's composed of aluminum components (to cut down on unsprung weight), Dynamic Drive Control (DDC), and Electronic Damper Control, which is in its own right an impressive system that would require volumes to describe properly. Let's just say the suspension on the E65 is miraculous, as it's able to translate 4,900 pounds of sheet metal into something nimble, sporty and confidence inspiring. The ride is compliant and firm without being abusive, and the 760i corners dead flat, even in tricky off-camber turns.

At the strip, we observed zero to sixty times in the low-to-mid five seconds, with quarter mile figures in the low fourteen second range. Not bad for a two-and-a-half-ton four door with more gadgetry than the first lunar rover. Top speed is governed at 155 mph, and probably for good reason. Our tachometer read a lazy 3000 rpm at 155mph, indicating that there's plenty more top-end available.

All in all we really enjoyed our time with the 760i, even if it meant fighting with iDrive system. The car's road manners are impeccable, its styling graceful, its interior lavish and its engine vivacious. If BMW would only drop the iDrive system (or at least modify it so that it's easier to navigate), the 760i would truly be a world class leader in the luxury performance sedan market and give the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin and the Bentley Continental GT a serious run for their money.

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