BMW goes all out, and somewhat Beyond, With its all-new 7 series
At night, lying back in the sumptuous leather seats of the new BMW 7 Series, you can actually see the stars. now, to be fair you can probably see the stars by simply looking up in any car with a sunroof, but in the BMW they’re actually built into the sunroof glass. cloudy nights appear to have been a great worry for bmw’s engineers.
they’re also not twinkly white stars, like you are used to seeing peering down at the Earth. these are blue and resemble something similar to a cross between the Matrix and tron.
Either way, you get the idea that BMW has gone to great lengths to ensure that not one luxury element of life is possibly missing from its new flagship.
not that there was much wrong with the old model. the 7 Series (along with its Mercedes S class rival) has long been the ‘go to’ for any self-respecting (insert any of your choice of the following: world leader, despot, gangster, CEO, movie star, etc.).
Each one has been progressively better than the last, improving what was previously one of the best cars on the market.
but the new, sixth-generation car is something quite beyond the norm, with a list of options and gadgets that will have any good bond villain penning his resignation letter.
ing, the blinds for the glass sunroof and the roller sunblinds.
Even the key has a display on it, telling the owner all sorts of things they might need to know.
Add to that a heads-up display, all-wheel drive, BMW’S Executive Drive dynamic suspension system, steering and lane assist, as well as active steering, adaptive cruise control and a whole lot more. You could probably hop into the back and let the car do it all for you.
Even the audiophiles will be happy, as the 7 Series comes with a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, featuring 16 strategically positioned (and illuminated) loudspeakers.
Importantly, it looks great, too, with a well-balanced body that looks neither svelte nor fat from any angle. It looks imposing, but without being brash. The men with small glasses have really done their homework and created a car that says a lot without shouting.
On the road, the 7 has lovely manners, riding bumps with the cosseting feel of feathers on wool. But throw it into a corner and it also handles as well, sticking to a line with little body roll. How
that’s achieved is incredible and certainly impressive. There’s a lot to love with BMW’S big cruiser.
If you really had to pick holes, the gesture control is frankly bonkers, pointless (excuse the pun) and slower than actually reaching for the knob or dial. A good case in point is the audio volume, where the dial is closer to the driver than the area you need to circle your finger to alter the volume. Yes, it’s clever, yes, it’s amusing (for a short while), but it also doesn’t work every time. Few people miss a dial once they know where it is.
With the star-crossed sunroof and finger waggling, it’s pretty clear the big ubersaloon makers have finally run out of things to put on their cars that drivers actually need. So now the industry is heading down a road of nuclear one-upmanship.
So, to cut to the point, is the BMW 7 Series any good? In a word, yes, it’s brilliant. There’s just so much to learn and understand. You’d need six months and a degree in programming to fully understand everything the car can actually do.
When Mercedes launched its new S-class a few years back, it moved the game forward in terms of technology and options. BMW can be said to have done the same with this car.
It also feels incredibly well built, it’s very quick, holds the road well and looks as good as it drives. You can feel the allwheel drive system working when you press on and although it’s laden with tech to keep you on the tarmac, it doesn’t interfere as much as you’d expect.
Of course it will have the price tag of a small island and running costs of an off shore oil rig, but at this end of the market that’s par for the course.
In the world of uber-saloons, it’s very much business as usual at the top.