BMW is celebrating its 100th year in the automobile industry. To make it even memorable, BMW Malaysia is officially launching the all-new BMW 7 Series which marks the 6th generation of the 7 Series model.
“Driving luxury”. These are the two words that BMW has been reminding us during the whole launch event. Why “Driving Luxury” I wonder. I got a better understanding as to why when I had my in-depth tour of the car. But first, let me take a self…I mean some history lesson.
The 7 series started all the way back to 1973 when the E23 was launched. And every subsequent generation only got better. The all–new 7 Series, code named G11, just brought a whole new meaning to the word ‘Driving Luxury’. With the latest 7er, BMW is hoping to maintain its drivers’ car reputation but in a S-Class rivalling interior. We shall see if they have succeeded or not later in the story.
The entry level 7 Series offered (misleadingly named 730Li) is powered by a 2.0 litre In-line 4 engine and produces 258 horsepower at 5,000 – 6,500rpm with an 8-speed automatic gearbox with Steptronic. This gives you a top speed of 250km/h with a fuel consumption of 5.8 litre per 100km. Not too bad for an entry level 7er, let alone with just a four cylinder engine.
Up the ladder is the 740Li. It is powered by a 3.0 litre In-line 6 engine which produces a total of 326 horsepower at 5,500 – 6,500rpm also with the 8-speed automatic gearbox too. All these means a faster 0-100km/h time of 5.6 seconds and a fuel consumption of 6.6 litre per 100 km.
The 7 Series has adjustable suspension to adapt the ride for the car. They also have built-in technologies such as the steering and lane control assistance, active side collision protection, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, Person Warning, Active cruise control with Stop & Go function. All the things one would expect from a flagship German limo.
The higher spec 740Li has BMW’s Laserlight (first in its segment) which uses real lasers to enhance driver’s vision from regular LEDs (which provides 300m of visibility) to 600m! It can be easily identified by the blue horizontal bar in the front headlamps. So yes, you can finally tell your kid that your car has lasers.
The all-new 7 Series is made with an important goal of increasing the structural strength while reducing weight. Also a first in its segment is the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) in combination with the usual high-tensile steel and aluminium in the chassis and body structure to shave off weight while increasing strength. Just a matter of time before we see a limo made with a carbon fibre tub like the i8 hybrid sports car.
As for the interior, technology has taken control (literally), everything inside can be operated with just a tap on the screen or button As you can see the rear seat’s arm rest has a tablet which enables you to set the navigation system, control the lighting, turn on/off the massaging seat and many more. Being a tablet, it is removable and can be used as a regular Android Tablet too. Even more standard features includes a cool door-welcome-light, four-zone air conditioning, a 10-inch screens for each of the rear seat, and BMW ConnectedDrive.
For those leather connoisseurs out there, it may interesting to know that the pricier 740Li gets Nappa leather with diamond stitching paired with Poplar Grain Grey wood, while the 730Li “only” gets Dakota leather with no fancy patterns, and coupled with Fineline wood. Say what you want about leather, but in this case you can really feel the difference if you get to sit in them back to back like I did at the launch event.
Both the 730Li and the 740Li has the panoramic roof as a standard option but the 740Li offers users with a cool panorama glass roof sky lounge with are composed of 15,000 light elements to increase the ambience of the car. Users are also given the choices of 6 different colours to choose from. Think Rolls-Royce Starlight headliner which you can see through.
The remote key is also one of the main party trick of the all-new 7 series, like a mini smartphone, you are able to check the fuel mileage, car temperature, your next service, turn on/off your lights, open/close windows and many more. Sadly however, the ability to reverse and park the car by using the remote feature is not available for the units allocated in Malaysia. Shame really.
And finally, let’s talk price.The On-The-Road recommended retail price without insurance as quoted for the 730Li is RM698,800 while the 740Li cost RM888,800. Interestingly, in conjunction of BMW’s 100th year in the automotive industry, there’s the limited-time exclusive retail price for both models where the 730Li cost RM598,800 and RM788,800 for the 740Li (That’s a RM100k reduce from the original price!). Makes you wonder how much their profit margins are.
At the end of the day, the G11 7 Series is a worthy replacement of the previous generation car. BMW is clearly trying to appeal with sheer technology. Yes the design is way too safe, interior not as warm or cosy as the S-Class, but the newer 7er leads in tech and gadgets. The carbon structure, the laser headlight, gesture controls, and the smart key for example are all industry-leading at the moment. And before we drive one, most likely the best handling in the limousine class too. The recently revealed M760Li with a 600hp V12 is therefore getting me very excited indeed!
A big thanks to my friend and colleague Aathavan for this write-up and photos. See more in the gallery below!