Early flights are boring. Just recently, my colleague Ntlhezee missed his morning flight to Cape Town and he was not so happy about it at all.
A week later, history nearly repeated itself and I swear I would have peed on my pants. I was flying to PE for some track experience at the Aldo Scrubante Racetrack. Spending the entire day at the racetrack with unfocused track cars makes no sense at all hence BMW SA had its M models lined-up for the Motoring media to drive around the track.
I am not going to spend time talking about the M140i, M240i, M3 Competition Pack and the standard M4, yes, they’re fast and fun to drive, let alone the farts and pops that come after every gear change.
The two culprits were the 760Li xDrive V12 and the M4 DTM Champion Edition 2016.
To be honest, I cannot fault both cars at all except for the fact that I cannot afford the R2 699 900 760Li and you and I can’t either get our hands on the M4 DTM because only 200 DTMs were made globally, 15 of them were planned for SA and sadly they’re all sold out!
Both cars are fast, I don’t want to lie to you. BMW says the 760Li xDrive is the fastest 7 Series ever with a sprint from 0-100km/h in 3.7 Seconds and a governed top speed of 250km/h. If you think the top speed isn’t enough for you, there’s a M Driver’s package that raises the limiter to 305km/h. Obviously, you wouldn’t expect a 2.3-ton sedan to have that ability to wipe out even the M4.
The M4 DTM is a car made to honour Marco Wittman, BMW Motorsport Works driver who secured the 2016 DTM driver’s title. It’s crazy and stupidly fast. 0-100km/h is done in 3.8 seconds to a top speed of 305km/h.
On the M4 DTM, the steering is firm and feel some, turn-in sharp and the chassis fidgets and bobs over road imperfections and camber changes. Seating position is spot on, you sit low, just like a proper racer, ready for action. The carbon-frame racing seats grip you tight, however, you might find sitting on them for longer journeys uncomfortable.
On the 760Li xDrive, it has plenty of grip, sticking onto every bend and curve like a BMW should. If you’re going relatively quickly, you forget you’re driving a 2.5-ton sedan.
Like that engine, though, the BMW’s V12 rumbles like distant thunder as you slowly pull away from a stop.
It is still remarkably quiet, yet this tell-tale 12-cylinder attribute remains. It’s a subtle and constant reminder that you bought the special one. It accelerates in a smoother, more linear and, yes, more civilized manner.
To conclude, if you want a car that gets happy on the track than on the road, you can buy a used M4 DTM (they are all sold out). If you want a fast sedan to challenge the Audi A8 and the Mercedes-Benz S Class, then the 7 Series ticks all the right boxes but it doesn’t come cheap!