What is it?
The BMW 7 Series is amongst the most tech-laden cars currently on sale in India. We drove the diesel-powered 730LD variant in and around Mumbai for a week and here is what we think of it.
“Entering the new 7 Series is like entering a Tech Fest. It’s just simply loaded to the gills with technology.”
What is it?
A chariot. It’s powerful, comfortable and techy. BMW’s answer to the Mercedes S Class. Oh, and your personal masseuse. Future proof to begin with, it’s sleek, edgy, aerodynamic and everything that a car from this era needs to be.
What’s the Tech Fuzz?
You can park the car just by using its key. Yes, you read that correctly. All you need to do is point the car in the direction you want it to reverse/enter and you can control the rest from the key. Not only this, the key in itself has a MID display which can pre-start the car for you so that the Air conditioner optimizes the temperature before you enter the cabin. Once you are inside, you can control the volume by doing a round gesture in front of the infotainment unit. If you want to increase the volume, all you need to do is do a clockwise gesture and anti-clockwise if you want to lower it. Talking about the infotainment system, there’s a huge 10-inch center display that’s also a touchscreen. It’s bright and vivid and has great viewing angles for the 360-degree parking camera and animations. Auto-parking, air suspension, real-time power and torque displays, some 100-way seat massagers with heated and cooled seats, it’s just oozing tech from every single part. The centre armrest for the front seats houses a wireless charger which can charge any Qi-compatible smartphone.
How does it drive?
If I have to put it simply- Just like any other BMW i.e dynamic, aggressive and agile. And calling it ‘Just like any other BMW’ from behind the wheel is a great great thing for a car this is almost 5 meters in length.
Also, as you know, we only get the ‘L’ i.e the long wheelbase variant in India. However, that does not spoil the driving dynamics. Thanks to the space-age lightweight construction materials(more on this later). As mentioned before, it comes with an adaptive air suspension which lowers the car even further once you select Sport mode. Not only that, it sharpens the throttle response, adds some weight to the steering and turns the dials red. BMW claims that the 7 Series can reach the 100kmph mark from a standstill in just 6.2 seconds, I don’t doubt that for a second, thanks to a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine which pumps out 262bhp of power and a massive 620NM of torque. Most of the acceleration runs feel effortless, thanks to that huge torque figure, you are mostly riding the torque wave between 2000-2500 rpm.
This quick acceleration figure from a ‘long wheelbase’ car has been made possible mainly because of the ample use of CFRP(Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic) and high tensile aluminium parts in the chassis. BMW has borrowed this technology from their ‘i’ division which basically makes the car more stronger and lighter at the same time!
The Eco Pro mode quietens up things quite evidently. The dials turn blue and eco and you can see the brake energy being regenerated into the system in real-time. The graphics are quite intuitive but can be a bit of a distraction too. In comfort mode, the suspension softens up which makes ride quality quite impressive especially for the rear seat passengers.
Back seat luxe
Since this is a long wheelbase variant of the 7 series, as expected, there’s oodles of space at the back. The seats are big and comfortable and have individual cooling and heating options along with massagers. Theres also a ‘sleep’ mode for the passenger sitting behind the co-passenger. Pressing that button reclines the seat, pushes the co-passenger seat ahead in a dwarfy position and out comes a footrest. I can guarantee you this personally that this feature can make you feel lazy and sleepy even at 11 AM in the morning-post two cups of coffee. Then there’s the starline panoramic sunroof which can change colors according to your preference, similar to what comes in a Rolls Royce and is quite magical and a Samsung Tablet which can basically control each and everything, right from media integration, temperature, ambient lighting,massage controls- you name it and it’s there.
Should I buy one?
If you go the conventional way and compare it with its direct competitors- the Mercedes Benz S Class, Jaguar XJ L and the Audi A8 L, there are many factors that give the 7 Series a direct edge over its rivals like more tech and better driving dynamics. And even if you go the non-conventional way i.e choose your heart over your head, you might still end up buying the new 7 Series. Well, if I had the money, I would have bought one for myself! Do I need to say more?
ENGINE- 3.0-litre Twin Turbo Diesel
Power- 262bhp Torque-620Nm
Accelaration- 0-100kph: 6.1secs Top speed: 250kph,
Price: Rs 1.19 crore (ex-showroom)