We were mighty impressed with the new 7 Series when we first drove it last year. It was a big step up from the previous-gen 7 and is properly equipped with every weapon to take on the Mercedes S-Class. Things that we were really fascinated with were the key fob and the auto parking feature, of course, apart from the luxuries the backseat has to offer. Now though, there’s more to this 7 Series than just tech and luxury. The highlight of this 7 is the gem under that long hood. This is the fastest 7 to roll out of the Munich factory and to claim that title, it has gotten some help from the M division. Nope, they don’t call it the M7, but it does borrow a body kit from them and more importantly, a new heart. Under that hood thrives a massive V8 that displaces 4.4 litres and is assisted by two turbos. And when the turbos work their magic, 446 German ponies come rushing out and so does 650Nm of torque. Yes, with those figures, you could easily call this a super sedan. And with that, it locks horns with the Mercedes S500, Audi A8 4.2 TDI and Maserati Quattroporte GTS, among others.
BMW uses the same mill in the X5M and the X6M, albeit it churns out 125bh p more in those cars. This V8 is the quietest and most well-behaved V8 we’ve seen in a longtime. It doesn’t give you a sudden surge of power and the twin turbos bring in the torque nice and smooth. In fact, this V8 is so quiet, you can barely hear it work till you reach the redline. All that power is translated into speed, and sometimes tyre smoke, through an eight-speed gearbox.
Shifts come in quick and there’s more than enough power at any given point in time. If you wish, the 750 Li can crack a ton in a mere 4.7seconds. Of course, what comes in handy is the launch control that manages all that power rather well. Yes, launch control on a limousine! Even with this massive block under the hood, the 750Li is no track machine. That said, it manages to stick to its line even when you’re in Stig mode. Body control is magnificent and it manages to control its weight well with barely any roll and pitch in Sport mode. But shift to Comfort or Comfort Plus mode, and things start to get a bit floaty, especially on a road that has a lot of undulations.
The 750Li won’t throw rear passengers around as much as the S500 on a mountain road. But the steering remains light and devoid of feedback in all drive modes. Once at highway speeds, you need to dial in constant corrections to be where you want to be. Normally, you’d expect a luxury sedan to soak up all road undulations with a smile on its face and keep your back safe from bumps. But things are slightly different in the 750Li. The suspension is a bit stiffer than you’d like in India and there’s a loud thud from the struts every time you hit even a not-so-sharp pothole.
With the way it’s designed, this generation of the 7 Series looks modern and classy. There’s a lot different from the previous-gen car, and there’s enough flamboyance in the design to worry all rivals. The huge kidney grille takes up most of the space on the face and the sharp creases that run the entire 5m of the 7’s length complement the design. The story is similar once you step in. The craftsmanship is immaculate and it’s almost impossible to spot a flaw. The dashboard layout flows to the other parts of the cabin seamlessly, and colour tone and the choice of materials is commendable.
Of course, if you wish, you could personalise the cabin. What the 7 Series has in abundance, apart from power, is cabin space. It’s nothing less than a business class seat in a wide-bodied aircraft and everything from seat movement to sun blinds and lighting is button operated. The engineers have ensured that you won’t have to work more than four muscles to get all your entertainment, climate control and seat position needs in place. And yes, there’s a tablet that sits in the rear centre console to operate all of this. With a massive V8 under the hood, this one is the most expensive 7 to be sold in India.