Shall I proceed quickly, Sir?

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BMW has decided to ramp up the performance of its limousine 7-Series, which has ended up with the new 7-Series being the quickest vehicle in the BMW stable. And “quickly” in the M760Li xDrive is a zero to 100 kph in 3.7 seconds. Yes, 3.7 seconds, true supercar performance.

Yet the 7 Series are thought of more for ferrying visiting dignitaries around in plush quietness. Combined with restrained wind and tyre noise, and a comfortable ride, the cabin is a suitable match for an interior dressed more luxuriously than any other 7-Series: BMW Individual Merino leather for the upholstery and dashboard; Piano Black wood trim; high-pile floor mats; soft anthracite Alcantara roof-lining; Bowers & Wilkins 16 speaker 1400 watt audio.

However, select Sport and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), and flick the gearlever left and the driver takes control of the gear shifts via the paddles on the steering wheel and rattles off the sub-4 second 100 kph.

All very Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but is this something that didn’t need to be produced? I am reminded of Nobel Laureate Max Born’s opinion on the space flights, which he described as a “triumph of intellect, but a tragic failure of reason”. Why, oh why, BMW, did you take one of the world’s best upmarket vehicles and also decide that it should start attacking Ferraris? I am sure the back seat travelers do not need zero to 100 kph in 3.7 seconds. Incorporate every known passive safety feature as well as dynamic safety features and that would sit well in its marketplace. “Super car” performance is just not needed.

It has been said that 85 percent of 7-Series owners also like to drive themselves. That may be so, but if that 85 percent want performance, sell them a 5-Series with the M package.

BMW M760Li xDrive specifications

Price: From A$ 419,000 plus on-road costs

Engine: 6.6 liter V12 twin turbo

Power: 448 kW at 5500 rpm

Torque: 800 Nm at 1550-5000 rpm

Transmission: Eight speed auto, all-wheel drive

Fuel consumption: 12.6L/100 km