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BMW's hi-tech, high spec flagship truly magnificent Seven

PUBLISHED: 13:13 08 October 2016

BMW 7 Series saloon is laden with technology, luxury and space, especially the huge long-wheelbase version.

BMW 7 Series saloon is laden with technology, luxury and space, especially the huge long-wheelbase version.

BMW

BMW's 7 Series is a technology-laden tour de force that works by thought control - the car's as much as the driver's. Motoring editor Andy Russell is in seventh heaven.

The first thing people wanted to know about the extra long, extra luxurious BMW 7 Series was how much – just over £75,000… plus nearly £24,000 of optional extras.

Then came the follow-up questions. How can you spend that much on options to enhance what is already a status symbol and why would you want to?

BMW’s flagship 7 Series saloon has always been a technological tour de force, introducing the German giant’s latest innovations, and this sixth-generation model takes that to new levels of life-changing luxury.

So no wonder this BMW had loaded this 740Ld xDrive with its latest toys and. And if you can afford even £63,530 for the ‘cheapest’ 7 Series, you’re used to the finer things in life and can afford to splash out on a few extras.

BMQ 7 Series

Price: BMW 740Ld xDrive £75,010 (range from £63,530)

Engine: 2,993cc, 320hp, six-cylinder, twin turbo diesel

Performance: 0-62mph 5.3 seconds; top speed 155mph (limited)

MPG: Urban 42.8; extra urban 62.7; combined 54.3

CO2 emissions: 137g/km

Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 27%

Insurance group: 48 (out of 50)

Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

Will it fit in the garage? L 5,238mm; W (including door mirrors) 2,169mm; H 1,485mm

Technology and toys

Make no mistake, any 7 Series, whether standard or long wheelbase, comes loaded with kit and creature comforts so just how can you spend close to £24k on even more goodies?

Well, if you’re going for the long wheelbase model – at 5,238mm long rear seat passengers benefit from the extra 140mm and that means legroom is measured in hectares rather than acres – you’ll appreciate the £4,815 rear seat comfort package including massaging rear seats, TV, Harman Kardon surround sound and rear-seat entertainment. And the £3,250 premium package includes special glass to keep you cool, side window blinds, heated armrests and you can have scented, ionised air.

The £1,100 advanced parking package even allows you to park the car remotely using the big display.

Add desirables like the £1,150 head-up display, £1,695 Sky Lounge panoramic glass sunroof, £2,450 Executive Drive Pro chassis control and £1,360 adaptive LED headlights and it all adds up.

Under the bonnet

There’s twin-turbo six-cylinder and V8 and V12 petrol engines and a 2.0-litre plug-in electric hybrid but the 3.0-litre diesels will dominate with a 265hp 730d and Ld and 320hp 740d and Ld, the latter gaining xDrive four-wheel drive.

The 730d is quick, the 740d ballistic with a whopping slug of torque from 1,750rpm that pushes you back in the seat but, thanks to complex electronic driver aids, it’s so easy to drive, and returns 35 to 40mpg running around and 45-50mpg on a run with the unstressed engine pulling just 1,400rpm at 70mph.

How it drives

The 740Ld is huge but doesn’t feel so to drive which says a lot about the chassis set-up and weight-saving measures including a new carbon core passenger cell which helps cut 130kg.

You ride on air – self-levelling air – as standard with variable damping so the 7 Series just wafts along, ideal for motorway-munching, but a little too soft in Comfort mode for twisty cross-country routes so switch to Sport mode and everything feels tauter.

The new Executive Drive Pro active chassis control system option keeps the car flat through corners with adjustable anti-roll bars which adapt for comfort on the straights.

It’s like thought control – mainly the car’s!

Space and comfort

This is a formality, especially in long-wheelbase models, with a sumptuous and exquisitely-trimmed interior and limo-like.

The long 515-litre boot has a wide, deep access and hands-free opening and closing as standard but the wheelarches intrude, reducing the depth each side.

At the wheel

You soon feel at home behind the wheel with a huge range of seating and steering wheel adjustment and the iDrive controller and large screen on the fascia also put the driver firmly in control, especially once you have mastered the intuitive menus.

It also premiers gesture control where you can change the audio volume, accept phone calls and change the 3D view display with hand movements.

Final say

BMW’s 7 Series is exclusive transport and a showcase for technology which will filter down in future smaller models. As for who’d spend £100,000 on a car - you would if you could.

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