Unsure if it’s a large luxury-sports sedan or fleet-footed cruiser
Confusion cloaks me these days like a bad mail-order shirt.
Suddenly single at 63, I still struggle with life’s big issues — such as my choice of dancing shoes.
Do I go for some of those Zippy elf things, the ones with silly pointy toes that curl up on the ends like something left in the sun too long?
Or should I opt for a more, uh, mature style — possibly something in gray with gray squeaky soles and gray laces?
I mean, am I a sport or a cruiser, a player or just played out?
And the white 2016 BMW 750 X-Drive I had recently didn’t help much. It may be almost as confused as me.
As you probably know, the 750 sits atop the BMW product pyramid, aiming to compete with high-end luxury liners like the lofty S-class Mercedes-Benz and super-smooth Audi A8.
Yet it seems to also want to be a real Autobahn-inhaling Bimmer, a pure curve-straightening, bugs-in-the-grille, German driving machine.
I probably should have just hopped in it and driven us both to therapy.
Actually, the 750 does a much better job than me of straddling multiple segments. It looks and acts rich — as well it should considering its eye-watering $128,000 window-sticker price.
Though more conservatively styled than the Benz or Audi, the Bimmer doesn’t lack presence.
Familiar kidney-bean-shaped grilles announced its pedigree, complemented by unusually long headlamps that might have X-ray vision. (I’m only half-kidding here. I’ll tell you in a minute about all the bewildering technology stuffed into this thing.)
Likewise, its long, slightly raised aluminum hood could easily be pressed into duty as a dining-room table.
The 750 is Highland Park large, stretching more than 17 feet in length. But its front and rear overhangs are really short and tight, meaning the big sedan’s fine-looking 20-inch wheels get pushed to its corners.
Substantial 245/40 tires in front and 275/35s in back hinted at the twin-turbocharged V-8 residing silently beneath that hood, one of several body panels stamped from aluminum to save weight.
With its taut, abbreviated overhangs, the 750 almost looks muscular. However, its giant doors and mostly flat sides – sliced by a conventional character line up high – made the Bimmer seem a bit thick.
Moreover, some of the car’s trim seemed out of place. An odd little black vent behind the front wheel-opening slid down into a one-inch piece of black trim that ran along the base of the body.
It kind of shouted Hyundai to me.
In addition, a slender band of chrome ran through the 750’s standard-issue BMW taillamps, giving them an Asian touch as well.
But, hey, everything on the outside disappears with a push of the car’s starter button, awakening the Bimmer’s amazing turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8.
445 Hp and 650 nm of torque
Rated at 445 horsepower with 480 pound-feet (about 650 Newton-meters) of torque, the engine idled so quietly and ran so smoothly it almost felt electric.
Although the engine had a minute turbo lag when I stepped into it hard, it quickly came alive with a Hawaiian-sized wave of Teutonic power that didn’t crest until 7,000 rpm.
Tied to an eight-speed automatic that interfaces with the nav system to tweak shifts based on terrain, the Bimmer’s super-motor can blast the big sedan to 60 mph (96 kph) in a mere 4.4 seconds, according to Car and Driver.
While the 750 makes extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber, it still weighs nearly 4,900 pounds and gets a truck-like 16 miles per gallon in town and 25 on the highway.
But in this segment, who really cares?
Now if we could just get the engine guys to tune the BMW’s steering. In sport mode, it felt – weirdly – go-kart quick, but vague and numb.
Half-a-turn would aggressively fling the big sedan into corners, which it seized with minimal body-lean and decent control – thanks partly to all-wheel drive.
Still, the 750 never seemed to really settle in, ultimately feeling a bit uncertain. At least it rode like a six-figure sedan, supplely soaking up every bump Dallas’ bad roads could roll out at it.