When it comes to luxury barges, two cars usually come to mind right away - the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series. Sure, there are other limos out there like the Audi A8, Lexus LS and the Jaguar XJ that deserve mention and praise but the S and 7 somehow surpass the competition when it comes to image and snob appeal.
With the F02 generation model launched a year ago, the BMW 7 Series enters its fifth incarnation. While the S-Class oozes elegance and class, the 7 has always been more of a technological tour de force in many aspects and it once again introduced a host of new technologies to the luxury class.
The 7 was initially launched early last year with a choice of two turbocharged engines in the 750i and 740i models. Naturally, both variants come in either standard wheelbase or long wheelbase forms. More importantly for a market like Singapore though, there wasn't an entry level 730i model to further increase sales volume and compete head on with the perennial Mercedes S300.
In terms of looks, the 7 looks rather conventional when compared to its controversial looking predecessor when it was first shown to the world way back in 2001. It's good bye to Chris Bangle's mix-mash Flame Surfacing lines and in with more straightforward and clearly defined surfaces with the new.
The nose, with its overtly large double-kidney grille and the sleek side profile drew inspiration from the sporty Concept CS concept model while the rear, with its curvaceous LED tail lamps is a refreshing change from the some what awkward behind of the old model.
The long wheelbase 730Li tested here looks even sleeker from the side as the extra length accentuates the sporty profile and roof line. Disappointingly, the base model's 17-inch alloy wheels look puny and lost within the large wheel arches. This car needs at least a set of 19 or even 20-inch rollers to give it the garang and imposing look. Other than the boot lid badge and different alloy wheel designs, the only way one can differentiate a 730Li with a 740Li or 750Li is by the different exhaust tips.