Sixth-gen 7 Series packs air suspension, four-wheel steering, new iDrive and lots of other cutting edge features
SINGAPORE – BMW’s latest 7 Series luxury limo launched today at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay. For Singapore the launch model is the 740Li. It has a 3.0-litre, turbo straight six with 326 horsepower and 450Nm of peak torque.
It can go from 0 to 100km/h in 5.6 seconds, making it just about as quick as a Porsche Boxster. But the Boxster isn’t the new 7’s key competition, instead it’s the seriously refined Mercedes-Benz S 400 L.
Starting at $444,800 with COE (and $456,800 for a higher-spec model), the 740Li is the blue-and-white roundel’s most luxurious model, it being a flagship luxury limo. Our market will also be getting the 740i and 730d (both sold on an indent basis) with the V8-powered 750Li launching next year.
“If you remember, Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies… In one of the scenes, he controls a BMW 750iL remotely via a special phone, and drives it off a rooftop,” said Sethipong Anutarasoti, director of corporate affairs at BMW Asia.
Though not as extreme, the new 7 does have the Remote Control Parking function which allows you to get out of the car before parking it remotely using the high tech key fob. While the option is not confirmed for Singapore at this time, it may appear on the car in future.
“This is the car that is going to win everyone’s heart. Whether you like driving or being a passenger, this car caters to both very well,” said Anutarasoti, referring to the 7 Series’ traditional characteristic of being a sharp driver’s car, and not just a comfy limo.
Another option is the Ambient Air package which ionizes the air or fragrance the interior of the vehicle with selected scents, both of which can be controlled from the air conditioning control console of the iDrive menu. You can chose from the Blue Suite and Green Suite, and Golden Suite and Authentic Suite.
The S-Class has a similar option known as the Air-Balance package.
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The new 7 Series is BMW’s attempt to take back the sales lead from Mercedes by offering a fresh take on the luxury car. Instead of just coddling passengers like Mercedes does with the S-Class (albeit successfully), BMW is aiming to offer class-leading technology and performance.
For those who are looking for a hybrid car with thrilling performance, they might have to wait a little longer as there’s no news yet as to whether the 740e or 740Li plug-in hybrid will be available in Singapore. “Currently we’re still working with the local government as well as charging providers to assess whether there is a market for plug-in hybrids,” says Anutarasoti.
“Having one of the most densely populated business districts in the world, there is a potential for Singapore’s CBD to be an emission free zone. The 740e and 740Le can travel up to 40km on electricity alone, which is sufficient, but we’re still studying the prospects,” he adds.
Other than the S-Class, the new 7 can count Jaguar’s XJ and Lexus’ LS as rivals. Will the 7 Series’ high-tech Carbon Core construction and remote parking capability be enough to sway customers away from the segment-favorite?
Will the bold and the new triumph over the tried and true? Only sales figures will tell…
MORE PICS OF THE BMW 740Li