Welcome to the world of the Ultimate Driving Machine. With an opportune strategy and timely launch to outsmart the competition, BMW left no stones unturned in the evolution of the all-new 2016 740i and 750i xDrive sedans. Styled, engineered, and curated for luminaries, executives, officials, and innovators alike, the contemporary and lavish sedan from the German purveyor of state-of-the-art automobiles galvanized me after a full day of driving experiences. The vehicle delighted, electrified, and mystified with its collection of ingenious innovations, advanced technologies, and optimum comforts.
Connoisseurs of luxury lifestyles are enticed by sophistication in all aspects of their world from business travel to family adventure. For this reason BMW invited an eclectic group of media to the opulent Park Hyatt Hotel on 57th next to New York’s Central Park for a few days in order to immediately inherit the mindset of a 7 Series owner. Fine dining, extended hospitality, and helicopter rides to and from Monticello Motor Club, an exclusive motorsports country club, where key components for the 2-day recipe of success. Now in its 6th generation, the 740i and 750i xDrive will retail at $81,300 and $97,400 respectively (excludes $995 Destination and Handling). Keep in mind BMW has dropped the standard model and will only market the longer wheelbase 7 Series but minus the “L” badging. Since customers mostly purchased the 750Li, company officials didn’t see the need for two variants.
There are not many tasks this vehicle cannot accomplish. Once I arrived to the pristine driving range for 7 Series activities BMW infused the group with education on the vehicle’s beneficial updates as well as extensive opportunities to evaluate each individually. I began the morning enjoying the comforts of life while escorted in the back of an Arctic Gray Metallic touring sedan. It’s Ivory White and Black Nappa Leather interior was impeccable and instantly transformed my outlook from the eyes of a cosmopolitan Prince.
To enlighten my perspective even further BMW blessed the German with the following:
- Executive Package ($3,200) — Replete with power side window shades, front ventilated and massaging seats, and ceramic controls.
- Luxury Seating Package with Cold Weather ($3,900) — Offers rear ventilated, heated, comfort, and massaging seats and a heated steering wheel.
- Rear Executive Lounge Seating Package ($5,750) — The reclining seat and footrest felt similar to a first class international flight where you’re able to fully recline and enjoy a movie before falling into dreamland. The cushioned headrest alone was enough for optimizing my meditational state. The only downside to the Rear Executive Lounge Seating Package is that the front passenger chair creates a blind spot for the driver since it is pushed fully forward and tilted.
A table folds out for office work and WiFi allowed me to tap into the Web when cellular service went out around the wooded Monticello roads. A removable 7” Touch Command Tablet ($2,700) acts as a remote for managing various aspects of the vehicle such as controlling the seats, climate, or your music from the 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System ($3,400). Suffice to say I stepped out of the 7 Series enamored after my chauffeured drive.
Next up was a brief evaluation on the 4.1-mile and 22-turn road course. Typically, the interplay of hairpin, increasing, and decreasing radius turns, 1.5 miles of straights, and 450 feet of elevation changes would be more suited for M5s. However, my Mineral White Metallic luxury, sports sedan handled itself seamlessly at Monticello Motor Club. The 750i xDrive Sedan ($128,445 as tested) featured the dynamic M Sport Package ($8,400) which now includes the performance enhancing Autobahn Package ($4,100) and 20″ M Light Alloy Double-Spoke Bi-Color rims ($1,300) with special Bridgestone tires (may also opt for the 19s). The Autobahn Package as a stand-alone encompasses Integral Active Steering (basically rear wheel steering) and Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview which uses the navigation to send data to the vehicle so it responds to road conditions appropriately. For a vehicle of this size I was impressed with its acceleration on the straights and braking into the corners, though I was not confident enough to treat it like a M5. The M Sport Package is an absolute must for those looking for an energetic silhouette. Without it, the ride is a bit mundane for my taste. M Sport enhances the 7 Series with the M Sport exhaust, LED Fog Lights, and an Aerodynamic kit.
The last act of understanding was a leisurely drive through the neighborhood. With the optional Display Key ($250) in hand — a mini computer — it was time to connect cyberlly like Malek in Mr. Robot. Gesture Control uses technology to record hand motions for inputs such as adjusting the volume or zooming in and out of iDrive 5.0’s touch screen. Wireless Charging, NFC car to phone connections, and Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection also falls within the Mr. Robot theme. However, there will be steep learning curves for many of these futuristic technologies, especially for some of BMW’s Baby Boomer customers.
The new 7 Series sheds 190 pounds from its previous form by incorporating a lightweight Carbon Core passenger cell from the experience of BMW i. The BMW Efficient Lightweight concept utilizes CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic), ultra-high-tensile steels, and aluminum for the weight reduction and stronger torsional rigidity. The 750i moved fluidly from its 445-horsepower 4.4-liter V8 instilled with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and shifts from the intelligent 8-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic transmission while xDrive all-wheel-drive ensures peak safety and performance parameters are in place at all times. Conversely, the 740i runs with a 3-liter inline 6-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and produces 320 horsepower. The vehicle’s efficiency is enhanced from Active Kidney Grille technology that provides on demand cooling to the engine while the Air Curtains and Air Breather embedded within the front apron and side fenders reduce wheel turbulence. This technique also saves fuel.
Immaculate conceptions are not for the faint of heart. A vehicle with meaning, substance, and character as intimate as the 2016 BMW 750i xDrive should be honored with respect from society’s social elite. It’s a reward for the sacrifice and dedication its urbane owners put forth years and decades prior. Expect deliveries this fall with heightened fanfare.