I often wonder how people with split personalities exist. Imagine having one side which is calm, collected and rational, while the other is impulsive, tempestuous and edgy. It might not sound like a very appealing state of mind in the human world, but in the world of four wheels, I think it is fabulous. And the 7 Series is exactly that — fabulous.
Now, I am not particularly fond of the word ‘petrolhead’. However, with the number of diesel cars I drive these days, I will accept that being a petrolhead, literally, is quite nice. Ever since the new 7 Series came out, I had been itching to drive the 750 Li, the mighty V8 with 450 horses that runs on the octane-ous stuff. Quite an obvious choice, no? Just like me, Raunak, Ruman and Rohin (the resident BMW fan amongst us) were also itching to get their hands on it. Can’t blame them, but fortune favours the brave, and in this case, those who live closer to the BMW corporate office. Brave, because I live in Gurgaon.
The 750 Li came to me early one morning and I will be honest, I beat the alarm to wake-up time that day. In fact, I don’t remember any car this year which had me as excited. I must have kept the BMW driver waiting for a really long time while I just went over how this luxe-limo looks. No, it is not the jaw-dropping kind, but it exudes power in a very nonchalant way; the huge kidney grille meets the new laser light headlamps, while the chrome strip runs across the profile and the gun-metal grey at the rear. Huge twin exhausts fix a permanent steely stare for all those people you’re about to overtake.
Next, the key. Usually, this device serves an important but utilitarian purpose in most other automobiles — lock, unlock, open the boot and so on. But when you hold the key to BMW’s flagship, it can’t be just that and it isn’t. This key comes with a digital screen which tells you whether the doors are locked, if the sunroof is closed, if the windows are up and it also tells you the distance to empty and more. There is even a wireless charging compartment for the key inside the front armrest. The coolest feature on the key, remote parking the car while being outside the car, isn’t available in India. But still, this is a damn cool key.
Actually scratch the remote-parking feature as the coolest thing this key can do, because the coolest thing it does is bring the powerful V8 to life. V8s from BMW have always been special. From the first one in 1954, which debuted in the BMW 502 and made 100 bhp, to the current lot, they have always excited enthusiasts. This 4.4-litre V8 makes 450 bhp at 5500 rpm and 65 kgm of torque between 2000-4500 rpm. Imagine, all that torque from 2000 rpm! It takes a lot of restraint to not simply put your foot down and make this one fly, even if its top speed is limited to ‘only’ 250 kph. But as it is with its looks, the driving experience is also imposing but matter of fact. You could be cruising around town at 50 kph or barrelling down highways, but the feeling remains the same.
Like most modern BMWs, there are different driving modes and the Sport mode with suspension in Comfort mode was my choice for city driving. Throttle response and gear shifts are lightning quick, while the ride is still limo quality. Okay, slightly stiffer than when everything is in Comfort mode, but I am sure you won’t notice the difference. Since I had the car for a couple of days and I must have driven it for nearly 600 km, I experienced how it was to drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic, how it was around the broken roads of Gurgaon and on decently empty stretches of NH8 during night, too. And what did I learn? That nothing perturbs this car and that it’s always ready to delight you.
If you are the kind who prefers a chauffeur on most days, the delight continues for you while you are in the back seat, too. The new 7 Series is a wonder of modern technology. It’s like BMW got a bunch of letters meant for Santa from car geeks and decided to make all of their wishes come true. Don’t want to touch a button to change the volume or answer a call? Use gestures in front of the screen. Don’t want to look down while driving to change the radio station? Look at the HUD. Don’t want to tell your chauffeur to open the sunroof? Use the tablet. Tired after a long day at work? Choose the BMW vitality massage program. The list goes on and I won’t waste time by telling you everything because the Android tablet at the back does everything for you. The new 7 Series features air suspension at the front, too, which makes the ride even more comfortable. I can guarantee that you won’t ever complain about traffic jams or how much time it takes to get from one place to the other — it is that comfortable.
All this can’t come cheap and it does not. The 750Li M Sport package costs Rs 1.55 crore, ex showroom. And I rarely say this about cars which cost a bomb, but this one is worth the money. The comfort and the technology will make even the most practical buyer, who has the money, want this car. As for the ones who go with their heart, well, it is not sexy to look at and it does not have an exhaust which will wake up your neighbours, but honestly, it doesn’t need these things. It is more like a glass of rare wine — delicious, expensive and it can do wonders for your heart.
BMW 750 Li M (Sport Package)
Displacement: 4395cc, V8, turbo-petrol
Max power: 443.84 bhp@5500-6000 rpm
Max torque: 65 kgm @ 1800-4500 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed, AT
F/R: 245/45/19 / 275/40/19
L/W/H (mm): 5108/2169/1467
Wheelbase: 3070 mm
Ground clearance: 152 mm
Kerb weight: 2041 kg
Fuel capacity: 78 litres
PRICE: Rs 1.55 crore, ex-showroom