Stories to fuel your mind

Redefining Elegance & Performance: The New BMW 7 Series

Share the story

Story by Cary Lau & James Au

Seven Years ago, I remembered vividly when the controversial fourth generation of the BMW 7 Series came on the market. BMW was taking a huge risk and Chris Bangle was the chief designer of this totally revolutionary makeover. I loved the design but not everyone agreed about this car. It was one of the biggest steps that BMW had taken as far as defining their future look. It took a couple of years for the general public to finally accept Bangle’s design and sales jumped vigorously compared with the third generation 7 Series making it a bestseller.

Sponsored Ads

After 6 years of suspense, BMW has launched the fifth-generation model of the 7 Series, which has been BMW’s flagship luxury sedan for over 30 years. In 2009, the new 7 redefines the luxury sedan. I was longing to see the new fifth generation of the 7 Series last year. To my surprise, BMW again took different step than expected: instead of another total revolution, it was more of an evolution of the fourth generation 7 Series. However, one can easily distinguish the pronounced new and aggressive kidney grill along with other finer lines and details in its exterior and interior finishes. In my opinion, this car has a lot more public appeal and this is largely thanks to the defining lines imposed by chief designer head, Karim Habib.

This savvy Canadian born designer, took the new 7 Series to a new level of ultra-luxury sports saloon for the BMW brand. Karim Habib was able to retain the signature Hofmeister kink, long hood, short rear deck and overhang while adding a chrome gill with integral turn signal and continuous shoulder line. All these design features make the new 7 series easy to distinguish. I appreciate the fact that it takes a moment to recognize all of the small lines and shadows of the car when viewed in proper lighting. According to BMW, the new Cashmere Silver is the best colour to show these new lines. As for the interior, BMW has again surpassed the competitors by using the finest grain Nappa leather.

With the Executive Package even the dashboard, door trims, centre console trims are all covered with Nappa leather that is finely stitched by hand. This caris notall aboutlooks: the six-speed automatic transmission, similarto thatin the 6 Series, allows forfastergearshifting. In addition, a console-mounted E-shift gear selector is now integrated in the new 7 Series. Significant engineering developments include Integral Active Steering, an extension of Active Steering by Integral-Axle-Rear-Steering, which gives drivers more accurate steering and benefits such as greater agility and dynamic handling when driving slow as well as more stability and firm control when driving fast, especiallyaround curves.

This sedan is a pleasure to drive atanyspeed butthe person behind the wheel is not the only one who benefits from these new features: passengers enjoy greater luxury and comfort in this new 7 Series. A verysmooth ride is made possible bythe new 7 Series aluminum roof, doors, hood, front fenders, front springs, links and other components; this ensures the car’s light weight and the new suspension system guarantees there will be less bumps along the road. The new 7 is the only luxury sedan that offers Integral Active Steering, which reduces the turning circle at low speeds by turning the rear wheels counterclockwise up to 3 degrees the other way or 3 degree the same wayas ofthe frontwheels athigh speeds. This gives the car a much more agile feel.

This carhas so manygreatfeatures I found ithard to choose which ones to tell you about here. For starters, the new 7 is fuel-usage friendly: a new hydraulic pump saves on fuel by only actively functioning when needed. In terms of safety, the new 7 Series sets a benchmark through its use of sophisticated new technology developed by BMW such as Active Blind Spot Detection, High Beam Assistance, Automatic Cruise Control with stop & go including pre-collision notification and enhanced NightVision with pedestrian detection, side view and back-up cameras thatuse infrared. The advanced airbag safety equipment gives you real piece of mind.

As for high-end technology in the entertainment department, I was very impressed by the new hard-drive music storage system, dual 9.2” rear DVD displays, rearDVD drive and a first-everIntegrated Owner’s Manual. As to be expected, the interiorfeatures ofthe new 7 Series spare nothing in the pursuit of luxury. Two ofthe many new features include a 10.3” high-resolution LCD for Navigation and iDrive as well as a new front and rear controller. This is the latest generation of iDrive with hard drive based navigation and 12 GB of music/media storage capability and it has instant response/reaction when clicking the iDrive button with a much quickerCPU unit. The new iDrive system is easyto use because ofthe additional buttons.

The new “Suspension” button by the driver’s side on the centre console makes it simple to change from Comfort, Normal, Sportand Sport+ forsuspension and gas pedal reaction. You can feel the qualityas you run yourhand along the fine-grained Nappa leather on the upper instrument and door panels. Comfort and luxury can be felt and heard in many ways in this car: there are 12-way adjustable Comfort Seats with 4-way lumbar support, 12-way massaging and 6-way rotating ventilated rear seats. The new 7 series doors even close more quietly to ensure your driving experience is not jarring in any wayfrom startto finish.

Some of the other interesting features you will want to check out when you come to test drive this new sedan include: Lane Departure Warning with a speed limit indicator on the improved heads-up display, upgraded navigation that displays 3D topography and iDrive that incorporates smoother navigation, more efficient voice control, standard iPod cable with USB Audio Integration, standard SIRIUS Satellite Radio Tuner, and enhanced BMW assist automatic emergency call function. One of the most incredible new technology features is the Dynamic Driving Control that allows for the driver’s active interaction with the functioning of the chassis, suspension and drive train in just one touch of a finger.

The lines of this new sedan are even more elegant and modern than any previous BMW sedan; this vehicle’s good looks are sure to help you make a statement when you pull up to the curb. The new 7 Series comes in 12 exterior colors and there are 3 choices of wood trim as well as 4 Nappa leather interior colour schemes. A moon roof is standard, so are18” alloy wheels and all-season run-flat tires.

You can also choose the Sport Package, 20” alloy wheels, which can be opted together with a sport leather steering wheel and other great features. The new BMW 7 Series is available in two models: the 750i and a longer wheelbase 750Li (140mm). This new generation has a 4.4L V-8 engine, which is the same as the one in the BMW X6. It is equipped with BMW Efficient Dynamics Technologies, Twin Turbochargers and High Precision Injection.

The new engine, wrapped by the light aluminum crank cased body, reaches 400-horsepower over a range from 5500 to 6400 rpm and 450 lb-ft. of torque over a range of 1750-4500 rpm. For both models, top speed is 250 km/h, average fuel consumption is 11.4-litre/100 km, and CO2 emissions are 266 g/km. Speaking from a driver’s point of view, nothing is as breathtaking as sitting behind the wheel ofthis stunning and powerful vehicle. As a passenger, you can concentrate on work orrelax and read. You will feel the essence ofautomotive luxury—a combination ofclearfunctional design and a simplified control system that combine to create a sensational automotive experience.

The new BMW 7 Series has undoubtedly distinguished itself as the latest interpretation of driving pleasure and comfort. This sedan reaches new standards ofexclusivity, style, performance and safetyfor luxury cars. Finally, as someone who loves to drive, whatimpressed me mostaboutthe new 7 Series was its acceleration: thanks to the new 4.4L V8 Twin Turbo engine, the acceleration time is 0 – 100 Km/h in 5.2 secs on the 750i and on the 750Li, 5.3 secs. This is much faster than a lot of vehicles claiming to be sports cars out there on the market.

I was very surprised that BMW has not emphasized this generation’s performance more because forme this is whattotallydistinguishes the new 7 Series from its competitors. When I went for my first drive, apart from the incredible luxuryofthe newlydesigned interior, the curve lines on the hood give the driver a feel forthe overall width ofthe car. Itfeels smallerthan it actually is—you have the same sensation as driving a sports carratherthan a large sedan.

I cannot tell you how critical it is to actually drive BMW’s latest creation. Only then can you truly experience the way in which the 7 series embodies exclusivity, superb design aesthetic, the spiritofinnovation and sport.

Sponsored Ads

Brian Jessel BMW is pleased to now offer its customers the convenience of our VIP 7 Series Limousine. If you are dropping your vehicle off for a scheduled service or BMW Spa appointment and need a ride back we would be pleased to drive you in a new 2009 7 Series BMW. This comfortable ride is driven by a member of our Valet team. The service is available Monday to Friday. To reserve a limousine appointment please contact our Service Department at 604.222.8806.

“If there’s one thing to be said about the BMW 750Li, it’s that the car is the granddaddy of them all. From the brilliantly designed interior and exterior, to the twin-turbo 4.4l v8 under the hood, the car is the epitome of refinement – relaxed and charming at most times yet aggressive and chalk full of performance when called for. Having driven the car over the weekend, and with a plethora of features built into the vehicle that were begging to be used, precious family time was somewhat forsaken for an endless series of test drives through the streets and on the highway – the rear-seat entertainment centres got good use by my passengers while I gabbed away using the Bluetooth cell phone connectivity and listened to my podcasts via the integrated USB input for my mobile media player, the newly designed iDrive system took only seconds to figure out and most importantly, the driver-side butt massage setting kept my body in tip top condition throughout. After such a dazzling experience, only one question bodes asking to Mr. Jessel – may I keep it?”

Related Articles