Flagships are a medium for car makers to showcase technology and innovations on to the world. For the Bavarian car maker the 7 series is no different. Industry standard technologies like ABS and Active Body Control have made its debut here. Now in its 6th generation, it is the first car to come with ‘gesture control’. A tiny camera in the center of the dashboard captures your hand movements letting you perform various functions. Twist your fingers mid air to change the volume, swipe your hand to change the track and point your finger to reject a call. Though a bit gimmicky it is a sure shot conversation starter.
Unlike any of its predecessors, the 2016 7 series is much sportier, the exterior design to put it simply is entirely new. Underneath the sporty exterior, there is technology, and lots of it. For instance, behind the signature kidney grille are computer controlled flaps that open and close to improve engine cooling and aerodynamics. The headlights use lasers to intelligently illuminate a kilometer ahead of you without blinding oncoming traffic. Most novel of all is the key fob which has a 2.2 inch multi touch screen, you can swipe through the menus to check the estimated range, the status of door and window locks, and even remotely start the air-conditioning.
The inside is more like an executive suite. Plush would be an understatement- the materials, the trims, the leathers, all are of the highest quality possible. Everything in hands reach is covered in leather, brushed aluminium or wood. The heated reclining seats with eight massage programs are guaranteed to melt your stress away. For those long rides there is a ‘Vitality program’ which allows the rear passengers to engage in active training. It’s more like a guided workout, the screens walk you through pressing your legs, shoulder and back on the seat with varying intensities. Should you wish to catch on some entertainment there are two vibrant 10 inch displays mounted at the back of the front seats. Putting you in control of almost every entertainment and comfort feature in the car is a Samsung Android tablet held in the center console by mechanical clasps. Press a button and the tablet neatly pops up at an angle. The four zone climate control fills the cabin with ionised air while evenly dispensing a fragrance of your choice from cartridges under the glove compartment. Glance up and a series of LED’s will light up the markings on the panoramic sun roof like colored stars. The entire experience is like sitting in business class on an international flight.
Coming to the driving, under the hood of our tester was a 3.0 liter inline turbocharged diesel engine paired with a 8 speed ZF gearbox that delivers 262 hp and takes the car to 100km/hr from a standstill in a claimed 6.2 seconds. For a car that is 17 feet long it handles extremely well, it reaches triple digits speed easily but with a velvety smooth power delivery while still keeping the driver engaged. It handles the twists and turns with a level of enthusiasm that is not normally associated with large luxury sedans. However, as I realised the real crux of the 2016 7 series is how it insulates the passengers in a cocoon of comfort. On a straight road I put the car in Comfort+ mode, the adaptive air suspension softened the dampers and even while cruising at 120 km/hr I felt as I was sitting in an air-conditioned room on a remote island, literally cut off from the outside world.
The 2016 7 Series is improved in almost every way. It is fast, spacious, comfortable and packed with technology. Needless to say it is an absurdly comfortable way to travel.
The BMW 7 Series 730Ld M Sport is priced at Rs 1.29 cr (ex-Mumbai).
|Engine||2993 cc, BMW straight 6 diesel engine|
|Power||262 bhp @ 4000 RPM|
|Torque||620 Nm @ 2000 RPM|
|Top speed||250 Km/h|
|City fuel efficiency||10 km/l|
|Highway fuel efficiency||13.5 km/l|
|Safety||ABS. Traction control, ESP|
|Price, ex-showroom||Rs 1.23Cr (Mumbai)|