Testing cars is not only a dream job because you get behind the wheel of the most amazing cars, more often than not it’s all about the surprising things you discover. Sometimes a test reveals the most unexpected qualities of a car, as we had the chance to experience with the M760Li xDrive. It is not only the fastest 7 Series, but also the quickest production BMW ever. But did you know it still drives amazingly sure footed at high speed on a punctured tire?
No need to say that with its luxurious and sporty character the brand new BMW M760Li xDrive offers the best of two worlds. Either you drive it yourself and let the 12 cylinder petrol engine from the BMW M Performance range howl while you are swinging (throwing, flicking) the car around the bends or you can take place in the back seat and let yourself be driven. We chose the first option and drove on an early Sunday morning from our home near Leuven towards Brussels. A great drive that was, as the roads were almost empty and we could test the car in different ways. First impressions are of an outstandingly refined and very powerful car, boasting exceptional agility for its size and offering lots of comfort. Driving the M760Li xDrive is as sitting in your living room experiencing the greatest thrills there are, either through watching a thriller on tv or experiencing a massage from your partner. Truly getting carried away, literally. What we didn’t know than was that we were in for even more excitement on the way back home.
Greater than great, bigger than big
The BMW M760Li xDrive is greater than great to drive but with its length of 5.248 meter also bigger than big to park, which brings us to the only drawback of this car. Trying to park it in an underground parking in Brussels we sometimes had to manoeuvre several times back and forth to be able to get it round the corner. But in the end we always found a nice parking spot thanks to all the parking assistance options.
On the screen
When we came back five hours later and started the engine, a warning light warned us immediately about low tire pressure. When searching for more feedback in the car information settings we got more information: Tire pressure. Loss front right. Fill tire correctly. More info tire pressure sticker. The image showed us that instead of the recommended 3,0 bar tire pressure our right tire only had a pression of 0,5 bar. Wow, this was a unique chance to test the run flat tires. We didn’t hesitate a moment to grasp that opportunity with both hands.
We started slowly in Brussels city at a speed of around 40 to 50 km/hour. On the inner city ringroad, we dared to accelerate up to 70 km/hour, until we hit the motorway. We went up to 110 km/h, 120 km/h, 130 km/h, 140 km/h, and the BMW didn’t drive any differently than before. Maybe it would have at higher speed but, who needs to drive faster than 140 km/h on a punctured tire? At a certain moment – having driven about half an hour – there was only 0.3 bar left and still we could feel like lady Bond driving the BMW M760Li xDrive. At least when you opted for run flat tyres. An option you shouldn’t resist…
5 things to know about BMW runflat tires
- The car will only signal a loss of tire pressure when the difference with the set pressure is more than 0,5 bar. When you hit a sharp object with a BMW equipped with runflat tires, you get a warning signal indicating a loss of tire pressure, depending on the size of the puncture or degree of tire damage.
- The runflat tire at that moment offers extra safety and comfort. Instead of having to change the tire on the roadside, you can drive safely home or the nearest garage, without impairing driving stability.
- The runflat tire effectively acts as its own spare wheel. Specially reinforced tire walls with additional strengthening material prevent the tire from collapsing to deeply, even when the tire pressure is fully gone.
- All driving assistance systems stay functional. Moreover, the optional Adaptive Drive will automatically redistribute the weight of the car over the other tires, alleviating the load on the flat tire as much as possible. Thanks to the special shape of the wheel rim, the runflat tire cannot loosen itself from the wheel even when cornering with no air pressure. This means more safety and comfort.
- Customers can choose at the purchase of their BMW between “normal” and runflat tires.
And this is what caused our flat tire: