Here’s an interesting fact; most BMW 760Li owners purchase their German chariot outright while 750Li owners tend to lease. Maybe it’s a right of passage that goes along with the status that wealth renders or perhaps it’s the societal expectations of what success really is. Either way, I felt like royalty, both when driving and riding as a passenger in BMW’s grandiose 12 cylinder 7 Series sedan, and with all of the assets this luxury liner provides on an individual basis, life is sure to get better when thy kingdom comes.
Overall, the newly revised 2013 BMW 7 Series adds more performance, luxury, efficiency and safety to already significant packaging. Updates include technical revisions for the TwinPower Turbo V8 engine which receives an additional 45 horsepower and up to 20% fuel efficiency; tweaks to the suspension; transmission upgrade for the entire line-up featuring BMW’s 8-speed Steptronic automatic; introduction of xDrive all-wheel drive to the 740Li; automatic engine Start/Stop on the 740i (Li) and 750i (Li) for fuel savings; and a completely fresh powertrain for the ActiveHybrid 7 (6 cylinder will replace the V8). The leader of the pack though, is the 760Li with its 536 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque (from 1500 rpms) 12 cylinder engine. It’s also the fastest of the group with a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 4.5 seconds. You will only achieve 13 city mpg, but will enjoy a decent 20 mpg highway fuel economy. The 740i on the other hand offers 19 mpg and 28 mpg respectively. It’s highly likely that that particular indicator won’t be much of a concern to titleholders of a 760Li since they are far less concerned with fuel prices and miles per gallon, as opposed to the overall satisfaction with their luxury commuter, whether it be driving or driven. Actually, I prefer taking the wheel in most case scenarios and stuck with my philosophy during evaluations around the legendary Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. Acceleration is astounding and is available from all speeds, thanks to the broad torque range.
The revised exterior includes new embellishments such as: Xenon headlights with available LEDs; new LED fog lights on models without the M Sport Package; a 9-slat kidney grille (versus the prior 12-slat example); new front and rear bumper fascias; and a few chrome accents on the lower fascia.
Many of the 7’s changes are internal such as the new interface and redesigned iDrive (now 4.2). The 10.2” display is crisper, more vivid, and starts up faster. There are more views available and the navigation provides extra functionality such as the ability to learn your drive route. I will go on record as saying, “iDrive is the most advanced and user-friendly multi-media-media interface in the auto industry.” By using a central controller to navigate between every menu you instinctively become familiar with each function, which allows you to keep your eyes on the road more often. I can’t begin to explain how many times I became lost and distracted while searching for specific buttons or functions on iDrive’s competitor systems such as Mercedes-Benz’s Command. Inputting destinations on the navigation is a piece of cake, as is changing route criteria. And if there is an incident ahead, iDrive will inform you of the location and provide alternative routing. Use ConnectDrive to search Google locally and then have iDrive route you there instantly. Sync your calendar, check the weather, sports or maybe FaceBook while waiting on your date. It’s absolutely impressive. Also available as an option, is the 1200-Watt, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen High-End Surround Sound system. You certainly don’t need all that acoustic power, but it is available if you want to go deaf like that leopard earlier in life.
With every new model year BMW becomes more ostentatious with the presentation of their cabin interiors, especially in the flagship 7 Series and the all-new 6 Series Gran Coupe. When have you ever previously seen full Merino Ivory white interiors in a Bimmer? I suspect this this has a lot to do with the BMW Group’s ownership of Rolls-Royce? Or maybe not, since this is an exclusive BMW leather treatment. And as the British would say, “The synthesis of premium hides, treated woods, and chrome trim is absolutely brilliant!” Both the front and rear seats are sumptuous, with the rear seats reclining and the front chairs transforming into a masseuse, heater and air conditioner in one. I especially like the thigh extender, which offers added comfort on long drives. The wood veneer door pulls add a graceful touch as well.
On sale in showrooms now, 7 Series pricing starts at $74,195 and rises to $140,200 including destination charges. The model range consists of the 740i ($74,195), 740Li ($78,195), 740Li xDrive ($81,195), Active Hybrid 7 L ($84,895), 750i ($87,195), 750i xDrive ($90,195), 750Li ($90,895), 750Li xDrive ($93,895), and the 760Li ($140,200). There’s literally a 7 Series to suit nearly everyone of means.