It is not just a matter of luxury when you are spending upwards of Rs 2 crores on a car. It is also about mechanical superiority and nothing makes a statement better than having 12 cylinders bellowing under the hood. BMW is all set to bring in their flagship sedan – the 760Li at a price of Rs 2.2 crores ex-showroom, Delhi. In India, we already the other two Germans ready with their cruise missiles – the Audi A8 L W12 and the Mercedes-Maybach S600 at Rs 1.93 crore and Rs 2.73 crore, respectively. So here is how the 12 cylinder shootout unfolds.
Dimensions and Styling
All the three contenders are luxury barges and measure over five metres in length with the Maybach being the longest of the lot at 5453mm while the Audi measures 5265 and the BMW 5219mm. But then, both the Audi and the BMW are wider than the Maybach, so the occupants are equally spoilt for space. The BMW 760Li comes with the new twin-slat five-spoke M-Sport 20 inch alloy wheels while the Maybach gets the signature 20-inch dish alloys. The Audi gets 19-inch alloys but with a thicker profile and should ideally ensure better cushioning.
In terms of styling, the three cars are worlds apart. The BMW has its customary kidney grilles and a slightly aggressive fascia that matches BMW’s sporty lineage. The Audi perfects its executive image to the T with its square lines and limousine proportions. The Maybach with its muscular lines and aggressive but chiselled fascia looks stately.
Interior and equipment
It is absolutely pointless to put down in print every single feature in those lists because by the time we reach the end of that list, we would have long forgotten what was at the beginning. Four-zone climate control, power adjustable front-seats with electrically adjustable lumbar support and reclining rear seats with multiple massage functions will be standard. The rear passengers will have their individual display screens with individual headphones, pull-out workstations, refrigerator and more bells and whistles at their service.
The cabins are all upholstered in top-quality Alcantara or Nappa leather with a host of options for trims and hues if you want to personalise the limo. The layout and accessibility of the equipment in these cars are a testament to the amount of effort, study and engineering that has gone in building these cars to be the absolute for of luxury.
Engine and Performance
The BMW 760Li boasts of the largest power-plant with its 6.6-litre V12 turbocharged petrol engine developing 610bhp of power and 800Nm of torque. The torque is available from as low as 1500rpm catapulting the two-tonne barge past 100kmph in 3.7 seconds. The 760 might get the X-drive all-wheel drive standard in India which pitches it directly against the Audi A8 L’s Quattro all-wheel drive. While the Audi is powered by a slightly smaller 6.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine, it offers the unique W12 cylinder configuration, a reminder of the engine’s Bugatti lineage. The Audi develops a rather measly 484bhp of power and 625Nm of torque and comes mated with an eight-speed automatic gearbox like the BMW.
The Maybach S600 has the smallest engine of the three, a 6.0-litre V12 at that, but packs a rather powerful punch. At 523bhp of power, it sits between the Audi and the BMW, but the 830Nm of torque it develops is just slightly above the BMW. The S600 is pure rear-wheel drive and comes mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
The three German super-luxury cars come fitted with independent setup both fore and aft with an electronically-controlled pneumatic suspension. The air suspension allows the limousines to have the most comfortable setup all the time no matter what surface it runs on. It alters the spring rates to maximise grip and stability while not compromising on the speed at all, thus resulting in a luxuriously smooth ride.
The BMW 760Li fills up the space between the Audi A8 L W12 and the Maybach S600 and adds a new dimension to the luxe barge race. The BMW is the most powerful among this lot and successfully defends its enthusiast tag while matching the highest benchmarks of luxury. The Maybach is priced Rs 50 lakh higher than the BMW but it does take the luxury game to the next level. The Audi A8 L plays the value-for-money card perfectly, offering almost all the bells and whistles and the unique engine layout.