Everyone wanted a closer look at the G30 BMW 5 Series at BMW’s 2017 Bangkok International Motor Show booth, but since Malaysia already has a G30 of our own, we focused instead on this beast of a sedan – the BMW M760Li xDrive in Excellence form. M badge? On a 7 Series? Let us explain.

The M760Li is not an M7, like how the M40i is not an M2. But an M7 does not exist, so this flagship “M Performance Automobile” is as sporty and fast as you’ll get in a G12 7 Series. G12 because the M760 is only available in “Li” long wheelbase form. America and China will be main markets for this ultimate Seven, and they will be pleased with the grand “760” badge and the many reminders that this is a car with a V12 engine.

Yes, twelve cylinders. Munich’s V12 is no longer 6.0 litres in size, and is now a 6.6 litre unit related to engines used by Rolls-Royce, tweaked for more performance. Why a V12? Because it “traditionally enjoys a rarefied status beyond the reach of other configurations, and it represents the ultimate expression of the engine-building art,” BMW says. No one would disagree.

The M Performance TwinPower Turbo V12 motor makes 610 hp at 5,500 rpm and 800 Nm from 1,550 rpm. While that’s less than the Mercedes S65 AMG‘s 630 hp/1,000 Nm, the M760Li is much faster from 0-100 km/h at just 3.7 seconds, beating the flagship S by six tenths. Top speed is limited, to 250 km/h or 305 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package installed. Amazing, considering the size and heft of this fully decked out limo.

In the construction of the all-aluminium block, engineers focused on maximising rigidity while also minimising weight. Using a closed-deck structure combined with bolts holding the cylinder head down on the floor plate of the crankcase, the engine ensures maximum stability on the cylinder liners.

Double bolts on the main bearings with an additional connection to the side panels through threaded support bushes and bolts reduce the influence of lateral forces from the crankdrive on the crankcase. Further components of the engine block that serve to reduce vibrations and noise to an absolute minimum are iron-coated aluminium pistons, forged connecting rods assembled using the cracking process, and a likewise forged crankshaft. Shame that it’s all covered up.

Under that not so sexy cover are two mono-scroll turbochargers positioned in a compact arrangement on the outside of the two rows of cylinders, each supplying six pots with compressed air.

The compressed air from the turbocharger is cooled by a sophisticated indirect intercooler. This serves to minimise the overall volume of air required and to shorten lag times. An additional water pump feeds the separate coolant circuit required for this purpose, which air-to-water heat exchangers are positioned directly on the intake manifold.

In order to reduce backpressure, the M sports exhaust system features mostly straight pipe routing and the largest possible diameter. The evolution of the rear silencers and flap activation system allows a broad acoustic spread, supplying everything from maximum refinement to a full-bodied and emotionally rich 12-cylinder soundtrack, BMW claims.

The mighty engine is mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission that has been adapted to the characteristics of the V12. It comes with shift paddles, Launch Control and holds gears at redline. BMW’s xDrive permanent all-wheel drive system has been given a rear-wheel bias here. The Executive Drive Pro active suspension control system and Integral Active Steering four-wheel steer are standard.

Now, where’s the M in the design, you ask. We wondered the same as well, and were told that this is the Excellence model that focuses on luxury instead of sport. Externally, the Excellence trades the M aerodynamic package for the Pure Excellence exterior design package. It includes 20-inch BMW Individual wheels in W-spoke 646 design and brake calipers in gloss black (from blue).

Basically, it looks like a very highly-specified, very shiny normal 7 Series. If not for the V12 badges on the C pillars and bootlid (just V12, no M760Li needed), no one would know what’s lurking beneath. The Pure Excellence interior design package is included, but “V12” appears on the door sill plates, the gear lever area and the meter panel. Very fast, very stealthy. 12.499 million baht (RM1.6 million) for the privilege and twelve-cylinder bragging rights.