The latest 7 Series packs a whole lot of punch, and in this M-Sport guise, we reckon it could potentially be the limousine to have
Photos by Azfar Hashim
Buyers who are in the market for a luxury sedan normally know what exactly they want. And it seems the key players in this particular segment, namely Audi, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and even Jaguar know how to do things right; which is why you see a healthy number of A8, 7 Series, LS, S-Class and even XJ running on our road. But then again, we should already know who is king: well, none other than Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class.
Maybe it’s the badge it’s wearing. Or perhaps it’s the combination of luxury and comfort it delivers. Then again, there’s no denying how grand it looks even from a distance.
Whatever the reasons are, it seemed to have inspired this new 7 Series – because the interior, which is one of the car’s important highlights, feels a notch higher in terms of luxury, than its predecessor. Open the rear door and what greets you are a pair of comfortable, supportive seats that also features multiple adjustments - backrest angle, height and how high you want the headrest to be; oh and speaking of headrest, a small little pillow comes standard as well ensuring your head gets properly pampered before going into the next board of director’s meeting.
As this is the long-wheelbase variant (denoted by the ‘Li’ badge), rear passengers get to thoroughly enjoy and stretch their legs as and when they feel like it. While at it, you have ample room for yoga too…
515-litres worth of bootspace available
Speaking of which, legroom is definitely very important here considering the fact that a typical buyer of this car will be spending 98.687 percent – a conservative figure - of his time back there. In this aspect, I must point out the Mercedes-Benz S400 L (3,165 mm) comes first, the Jaguar XJ LWB (3,157 mm) second, the BMW 740 Li (3,128 mm) in third followed by the Audi A8 L (3,122 mm) and lastly, Lexus LS460 LWB (3,090 mm).
For more comfort, BMW has gone the extra distance by adding a pair of monitors and a Samsung sourced tab-like controller, which allow rear passengers to control their preferred media (to prevent boredom obviously), and sunroof (sun? No sun? You pick!), for example. Sunshades - at the rear side windows and windshield - for added privacy are present too.
The 740 Li has one of the most driver-oriented cockpit in this class; so if you are a chauffeur, you would definitely love your office space. The buttons are clearly labelled and placed within easy reach, the steering is perfectly sized and designed, the digital meters are clear… BMW has put an extremely high amount of attention to every detail.
It does not stop there though, no. BMW has implemented what they call ‘Carbon Core’ when building this 7 Series; what it means, essentially, is the use of carbon fiber on several key areas like the A, B and C-pillars. To keep weight down, carbon-reinforced plastic, aluminium and high-strength steel are also used; compared to its predecessor, this 740Li weighs almost 90 kilograms lighter. Not only that, its kerbweight is the second lightest after the all-aluminium XJ LWB.
M-Sport Package means all exterior chrome bits are replaced by piano-black finish
Which then leads to respectable performance figures. Powered by a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder turbocharged powerplant mated to an 8-speed Steptronic auto ‘box, the 740 Li does the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 5.6 seconds and will power all the way to its limited 250 km/h. Mind you, those figures are not exaggerated seeing how tenaciously it propels forward, giving some sports sedans a hard time even. And I must report that while the driver is happily exercising his right foot, backseat passengers almost do not feel all that action, instead cossetted and falling asleep; all these while still in Auto mode. Pick Comfort, and even the driver risk falling asleep behind the wheel. To not sound overly enthusiastic, there are some cues of the Ghost…
Pick Sport, and – best done when there are no other passengers – the 740 Li shows off that tinge of sportiness. That, and thanks to the Integral Active Steering (rear wheels will tilt in the opposite direction of the front at speeds below 60 km/h, in the same direction above 60 km/h), this barge can take on a series of corners, tight or wide sweeping ones, without a hitch. While the quattro-ed A8 L triumphed this chapter in the book of German ark(s) previously, this 7 Series is the new game-changer despite the rear-wheel drive configuration.
At the end of it all, the 740 Li, particularly this M-Sport Package variant, is not the sort of limousine that will bore you. BMW has pulled all its resources to give this car the sort of comfort once reserved only for the S-Class, added in the sporty driving experience typical of the BMW badge and delivered something almost Ghost-like.
In other words, an all-rounded goodness.
By the way for the curious, the xDrive all-wheel drive variant won’t be coming. Not that you need ‘em here, as this one’s precise enough…
In Adaptive mode, the 740 Li will adjust itself according to the road conditions in real time
Large-sized key fob allows you to switch on the climate control even before you step into the car