BMW has never made an M7. According to the M Division, the 7 Series doesn’t really jive with the their motorsport ethos. The 7er is too big, too heavy and not dynamic enough to be a proper M car. Or so they thought.

Because the M Divison won’t make an M7, BMW gave us something else to take solace in — the BMW M760i xDrive. It’s the M Performance variant of the 7 Series, similar to the BMW M240i, X4 M40i and M550i. That means it has more performance than a standard BMW but not as hot as a proper M car. It’s a sort of middle ground between a standard 7er and what an M7 would be. At least that’s the idea.

Automobile Magazine recently drove the BMW M760i and spent a week living with it. According to them, it could very well wear an “M7” badge and probably should. Under its hood lies a 6.6 liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine that makes 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. When paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, the M760i can get from 0-60 mph in under 3.5 seconds. That’s absurd in such a heavy car. But it isn’t just its straight-line speed that makes it an M7 at heart. It’s the way in which the big M760i handles.

On some of California’s stunning twisty canyon roads, the M760i is apparently a hoot to drive. Its steering is direct, its front end bites hard and there’s tons of grip, thanks to its sticky Michelins, that keep the heavy car planted. According to Automobile, the M760i is capable of taking on some genuine sports cars on a twisty road or race track. Despite being a big, heavy luxury car, the M760i has handling and performance moves more in keeping with the M Division.

However, where most M Performance cars are supposed to switch off and become genuine luxury cars, the M760i doesn’t seem to. Its ride is too harsh and it isn’t as comfortable as its rivals from Mercedes-AMG. So when it’s time to relax, the M760i actually has a bit of a hard time. So it seems that BMW actually has made an M7 in everything but name. Maybe after seeing how impressive the M760i is, the M Division might change its tune?

[Source: Automobile Mag]