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BMW 7 Series, this might be the most advanced luxury limo in the world

For as long as big, luxury limousines have existed, German manufacturers have dominated the segment. As a general consensus, the Mercedes S-Class was usually the nicest to be in, the BMW 7-Series had the best chassis, and the Audi A7 aced the other two in the looks department. The truth is, they were virtually indistinguishable unless you really wanted to nitpick. You’d be happy with either one of the three without ever looking back. With the new S-Class set to hit the market sometime in 2020, BMW has decided to beat the Stuttgart manufacturer to the punch and launch their own rival first.

There’s been speculation of a new facelifted 7-Series for years now, but BMW managed to keep specifics relatively hidden. Finally, in early 2019 they broke radio silence at the Geneva Motor Show. Although this isn’t an entirely new platform but rather a facelift of the outgoing 7-Series, it certainly looks the part. To give it a proper review and experience how the changes BMW implemented affect the finished product, we were invited to sunny Faro, Portugal. The mix of open roads with flowing corners, and small, twisty hill bends, gave the new 7-Series a real workout.


The pictures you’re seeing are not photoshopped. The front grille really is that massive. I’d say around 90 percent of all comments addressed towards the way the new 7-Series look were somehow related to that giant grille up front, but it isn’t all bad news. In the flesh when you get up close and personal with it, it somehow looks alright. I’d still prefer a smaller grille, but there are certain angles and creases which don’t translate well to camera but make the thing pop out in real life. It looks silly head on but the side profile is good.

Other changes up front include a revised front bumper with a large central opening, as well as slimmer and more aggressive headlights. As standard, the redesigned 7-Series comes fitted with adaptive LED technology but you can opt for the Laserlight units for a small premium. Having tried both I’d say the LED units are more than up to the job. The Laserlights seem like a novelty, but they do work better it has to be said. It’s just that the differences are mostly visual, from the outside, and you don’t get any real benefits as a driver. Still, if you like the way they look, go for it.

From the side profile, it’s still undisputedly a 7-Series. The wheelbase is long, the overhangs are massive, but the whole car sits better on the road than the last model ever did. The rear is more modern too. The taillights are slimmer now, and there’s a central trim line along with the brake line running across connecting them. The lower bumper integrates the two large exhaust openings, one on either side. The rear is definitely more understated than the front, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


I know I said this is just a minor facelift, but the changes inside are equal to those of a new model, not a facelift. For starters, there’s six-color LED ambient lighting to create a more pleasant atmosphere for the occupants. The all-new instrument cluster is now a 12.3-inch digital screen, just like in the Merc or the Audi. There’s a heads-up display too, showcasing all the vital info the driver needs at any given moment. Those seated in the rear can enjoy 10-inch HD touchscreen units nested in the front seats. There’s a Blu-ray player for ultimate convenience, and rear passengers can also control various infotainment features such as the navigation and online search functions.

An innovative feature is the BMW Touch Command. It’s essentially a removable tablet which can be utilized even outside the car. Using the tablet the user can digitally control the seats, the lighting, the climate control, and even the infotainment screen. Wi-Fi hotspot is standard and so is wireless charging. People looking for the latest in technology will be seriously impressed by the optional Night Vision feature, showing you real-time “heat-emitting” imaging on the Control Display. The whole system is controlled by the new iDrive 7 infotainment system with 20 gigabytes of storage space.

Elsewhere it’s your usual 7-Series really. Top of the line materials, superb build quality, and more interior space than you’d ever need.

Engine and Performance

There are three petrol variants on offer, a 740i, a 750i, and an M760i. The first one wears the B58 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine producing 340 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque, while the second makes do with the same 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 like the one in the 850i. In 7-Series trim it makes 530 horsepower and 750 Nm of torque. All engines utilize the brilliant ZF eight-speed auto. Needless to say, the 850i is the much faster proposition of the two. Because inline-six engines, especially BMW ones, are so inherently smooth though, the 740i is just as good as the V8 provided you don’t want/need the extra power. BMW discontinued the rear-wheel drive option for the 750i, meaning you can only have it in xDrive flavor. The 740i can still be specified as a rear-wheel-drive limo however, but very few people will do so.

The flagship M760Li remains, but it gets a small decrease in horsepower, now producing a total of 592 horsepower. As a consequence of less horsepower, BMW engineers have been able to ramp up torque to 850 Nm. In a big limo such as the 7-Series, torque is the more important figure.

There’s a third, hybrid variant on the table, called the 745e iPerformance (previously called the 740e). It uses the same inline-six engine as the 740i, but thanks to a couple of electric motors, it now produces 389 horsepower and 599 Nm of torque. A new 12 kWh battery pack increases overall electric range too.

To drive, the M760Li is, without a doubt, the fastest and most refined. It’s essentially two inline-six units, so it’s inherently balanced and efficient. The 7-Series’ is still the best car of the three German offerings dynamically though, but the 750i feels a little bit lighter on its feet compared to the M760Li. The 740i is the lightest and most affordable model, so it will probably be the most popular too. In all honesty, you can’t go wrong with any of the engines on offer, it’s all down to personal preference.


As of now, this might be the most advanced luxury limo in the world. We’ll have to wait for the new S-Class to drop for the final verdict, but as things stand, Mercedes have a real threat on their hands in the form of this new 7-Series.

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