The modern standard in automobile luxury
As the flagship to BMW’s range, the new 7 Series showcases the marque’s leadership in automobile technology. Its conception draws upon a storied history, one which originated in 1977 with the first generation of the 7 Series. For this latest iteration, BMW has combined luxury and comfort in the grandest way possible.
Under sunny skies in Porto, located along the Duoro river estuary of northern Portugal, the 7 Series looks very much at home with a commanding presence in this ancient European port city which hosted majestic galleons and frigates centuries ago. Horizontal chrome accents in the front air inlets and rear bumper give the vehicle an operatic flourish, as do black anodised brake calipers.
A closer look yields delicate touches of chrome stalks which extend meaningfully from its streamlined exterior side mirrors onto the car. That sense of wonder grows the moment you step inside. In order to realise the most sumptuous offering of a luxury interior, BMW scoured top-quality hotels, lounges, bars and exclusive boutiques to determine standout points for a vehicle which would ostensibly be the chauffeur-driven ride of many C-level executives, tycoons and heads of state.
A Welcome Light Carpet is the first intimation of this luxury service, providing warmth and familiarity. One also enjoys the generous roomy sensation offered by a Sky Lounge Panoramic Glass Sunroof. In darker hours, this roof illuminates with 15,000 light elements, and switches between six ambient colours; white, blue, orange, bronze, lilac and green. This sensory seduction then extends to the ambient air package which ionises and dispenses up to eight fragrances, each of which has been especially composed. On the long-wheelbase model, one also finds high pile rear floor mats and Alcantara headliners.
An Executive Lounge option affords the space to stretch fully, sliding the forward passenger seat towards the dash and dropping a footrest from its backrest. Meanwhile, a convenient Touch Command Tablet enables the passenger to select a series of massage programmes – among a host of other lighting, temperature and entertainment options – for rest and relaxation. This cocooning experience is ably abetted by the studio-quality music emanating from the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system. A remarkably stable on-board WiFi connection and a pop-up working table guarantee productivity on the laptop when caught in a traffic snarl.
All these niceties lead into the innovation that makes daily and long-distance commutes a joy. Having invested over €500 million ($771 million) in its new 7 Series plant, BMW has put itself in pole position to create the most technologically advanced vehicle. The first usage of a carbon core in this vehicle segment achieves a weight reduction of 130kg, reducing fuel consumption and offering increased body stiffness and effortless driving.
Its driving dynamics are augmented by Executive Drive Pro, a system of active stabilisers whereby body forces are intelligently equalised during the ride and when powering through on corners; and cornering lights naturally come on as a safety feature against oncoming traffic. An optional Laserlight doubles the illumination power – extending the light beam from 300m up to 600m – with an anti-dazzle effect to make the light more pleasant to other road users. The Driving Assistant’s suite of helpful features such as cruise control, steering and lane control, active side and front collision protection and pedestrian warnings all play their part to keep the car virtually collision proof.
This signature BMW drive feel on the 7 Series will certainly endear the vehicle to both chauffeurs and owners. Under the hood of the top-of-the-line BMW 750i/Li xDrive, one discovers the magnificent BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 with 450hp and 650Nm of torque. It makes the century sprint at 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 250km/hr. Even when stationary, thoughtful touches include a Remote Control Parking function whereby the car may be manoeuvred into a tight parking space with the driver outside.