The new BMW 7 Series sets out its stall as the ultimate vehicle for luxurious driving pleasure, embodying BMW chairman Harald Krüger’s wish for the marque’s most expensive cars to be ever more luxurious. Euan Johns looks into the latest advances.
BMW’s 7 Series has always been a bit of a showcase for technological luxury. The latest version has yet more advancements on show to deliver even more comfort, greater fuel efficiency, innovative driver assistance and connectivity. In other words, the new BMW 7 series sticks to the letter of the chairman’s brief. With massaging seats, wooden seat-belt covers and interiors that display acres of parquet leather, these new variants are the definition of luxury.
In addition to striking exterior and interior design changes, BMW has updated the 7 Series’ engines to include a new eight-cylinder version and an in-line six-cylinder unit with plug-in hybrid system offering an extended all-electric range of 36 miles.
Perhaps the most striking element is the car’s eye-catching exterior due, in no small part, to the enlarged, kidney-shaped radiator grill. This gives the car an appearance of subdued aggression and machismo. The whole exterior design has a none too subtle ‘get out of my way’ feel to it, which is not to say that it looks clumsy or ugly in any way. No, it’s a true gent and the improved electric motor in the hybrid version offers a silent presence to what is a mighty example of refined engineering.
BMW has improved the air suspension, and although the hybrid version has to cope with some additional weight, the ride quality is exceptional, rivalling some notable peers such as the Mercedes S-Class. Steering is somewhat sedate, but that is to be expected from such a gargantuan car.
The lithium-ion battery is stored under the rear seat and offers the ability to set off silently and then engage the engine with minimal fuss enroute to the motorway. Here the car’s true power comes into its own. This beauty weighs in at a tad below two tons, which is why it needs every one of the straight six it possesses. The power on offer enables the car to sail into three figures without really batting an eyelid.
It’s the little things and attention to detail that one has to marvel at with this BMW, such as the air breathers to optimise the flow of air through the wheel arches and reduce turbulence. The front grille incorporates an active air flap control with adjustable veins that only open when the need for cooling air is increased. It’s all clever stuff.
There’s lots more to admire, my favourite being the increased manoeuvrability for tight city streets. This is achieved by the front and rear wheels turning in opposite directions to increase the car’s turning circle. Additionally, in the UK, the car comes with Parking Assistance Plus. This incorporates the rather handy feature of being able to reverse the car over the exact line taken when driving forward into that position.
Ok, it only works for 50 metres, but that should be more than enough to get even the most inexperienced driver out of any hole they may have driven themselves into.
The 7 Series has always and probably always will be a mighty animal, but it really is the stuff of dreams for those career executives finding themselves at the top of the tree. It oozes self-belief and power and where there is male machismo to be found it will see the 7 Series as it’s true home.
The price for all this car? Well, depending on the model, anything from just under £70k to £84k, that is, of course, unless you want to go the whole hog and opt for the M760Li xDrive variant which somehow manages to add nigh on £25k for not a huge amount more. That executive decision is yours to make.
essence infoWebsite: www.bmw.co.uk