The launch of the new BMW 7 Series marks a few landmarks for the German auto brand in India
By: Suman Tarafdar
Posted on: August 8, 2019
In a brand where every car is a byword for luxury, the 7 Series is BMW’s ‘flagship’ car, the one that the company points to with great pride. Launched in 1977, the series has gone through multiple generations, iterations and variants. It is the usually the first series to the get the company’s innovations in technologies and exterior design.
The newest BMW 7 Series, launched in India recently, has enjoyed a major facelift which the company describes as “a completely new car”. Also, for the first time in India, the new BMW 7 Series is also available in a plug-in-hybrid option – the BMW 745Le xDrive – combining benefits of an electric motor and a petrol engine. Also, for the X7, BMW India will locally produce the diesel variant from its Chennai plant while importing the petrol version as a completely built-up unit (CBU).
Dr. Hans-Christian Baertels, President (acting), BMW Group India said, “The 2019 BMW 7 Series is a completely new car, be it in terms of design, the level of luxury or its advanced technological offerings. Symbolizing BMW’s pioneering lead in future mobility, the ‘7’ is also being introduced as a plug-in-hybrid variant in India for the first time, along with a range of powerful petrol and diesel engines. We are confident that the new BMW 7 Series will comfortably surpasses all expectations.”
The prices for the BMW 7 Series range from ₹1.22 to ₹1.34 crore for the 730 and 740 variants, while the hybrids BMW 745Le xDrive is priced at ₹1.65 crore and BMW M760Li xDrive at ₹2.42 crore. Mr. Baertels expressed confidence that electric cars would be accepted in India, saying the company’s policy was to be ready. India has announced aggressive policies for EVs, though adaptation in the luxury segment is not likely to be any time soon.
The new car definitely has a more contemporary look to it. The design of the BMW 7 Series is clearer and more modern. An enlarged double kidney grille makes the front even more impressive and powerful looking. The super-slender headlight design adds a new strand to the character of BMW’s luxury-class models. Adaptive LED headlights with BMW Laserlight technology enhance the commanding look.
The number of lines on the sides have reduced, making the exterior look more powerful, refined and luscious without losing its sportiness. Elegance of the side view is emphasized by the coupé-like roof line and a chrome trim at the bottom. The rear is extremely wide and is dominated by powerful horizontal lines. A thin light strip positioned below the chrome band stretches across the entire width seamlessly connecting the tail lights.
The Power of X7
For the X7, both the petrol and diesel versions carry a price tag of ₹98.9 lakh each. The new model is the largest sports activity vehicle ever built by BMW. The petrol variant produces 340 horsepower (hp) and accelerates from 0-100 km/hr in just 6.1 seconds while the diesel version produces 265 hp and accelerates from 0-100 km/hr in 7 seconds.
The new BMW 7 Series is locally produced at BMW Group Plant Chennai. It is available in diesel and petrol variants. The 7 Series portrays the unique strengths of automaker’s ‘X’, ‘M’ and ‘i’. ‘xDrive’ takes the quintessential luxury of the BMW 7 Series to a new terrain with an all-wheel drive. With ‘M Performance’, the car reaches new dimensions of power and speed. Leading the way to a sustainable future is the environment-friendly plug-in-hybrid technology of ‘iPerformance’.
For the Indian back seat passenger, the interiors will be of particular interest. And if you are paying a crore and then some, the interiors do pander to you. Generous levels of space, bespoke leather upholstery and trims, improved sound insulation, ambient lighting, ambient air package, and panoramic glass roof Sky Lounge with LED light graphics are few among the long list of features that create the perfect ambience. Note the four-zone automatic climate control, electrically adjustable comfort seats, massage function and active seat ventilation. Yes, you can sink right in.
That’s not all. Rear-seat Entertainment Professional allows users to access the entertainment and navigation functions from the rear seats. It now comprises two 10.2 inch full-HD touch displays with a Blu-ray player. BMW Touch Command, the innovative system, offers a fully integrated control option for entertainment and comfort functions for the rear. The 7-inch tablet with touch function, which is integrated into the centre armrest and connected to the vehicle systems, can also be used outside the vehicle.
If you are a person with an eye on the health of the planet, the hybrid variants – yes, they are pricier – have more packed in. In the BMW 745Le xDrive plug-in hybrid variant, the electric drive is powered by a new lithium-ion battery with latest battery cell technology and increased capacity, producing 108 hp and a maximum torque of 265 Nm.
For those driving, even on roads that are still to match global standards, the BMW TwinPower Turbo three-litre six-cylinder petrol engine produces an output of 286 hp and a maximum torque of 450 Nm at 1,380 – 5,000 rpm. The petrol engine combined with the electrical boost of the hybrid system guarantees typical BMW driving pleasure. Well, again keep in mind the quality of the Indian roads!
The car accelerates from 0 – 100 km / hr in 5.3 seconds with a top speed of up to 250 km / hr. Running on battery power alone, the car achieves a top speed of 140 km / hr with an electric drive range of 53 kms. Using a standard charging cable, the car be charged overnight (8 – 12 hours) from any conventional 220 V mains socket. Using the BMW wallbox charger, it can be charged in 4 - 5 hours. Thanks to smart BMW plug-in-hybrid drivetrain, the battery is charged while on the move using energy generated from various components.
It’s not quite hands free yet, and again, attempting that might be foolhardy on Indian road conditions. The BMW xDrive, an intelligent all-wheel-drive system, monitors the driving situation constantly and is quick to respond. Dynamic Damper Control improves ride quality and suspension by stabilizing all irregularities of the surface. The Adaptive 2-Axle Air Suspension enables raising and lowering of vehicle at the touch of button and automatically adjusts the height of the car to suit any given driving situation.
If you are still wondering why you are paying what could buy you a decent sized apartment in Delhi, a host of BMW ConnectedDrive technologies continue to break the innovation barrier – BMW Gesture Control, BMW Display Key, Wireless Charging, Wireless Apple CarPlay and optional BMW Head-Up Display. The modern cockpit concept, BMW Live Cockpit Professional, running on latest BMW Operating System 7.0 includes 3D Navigation, a 12.3 inch digital instrument display behind the steering wheel and a 10.25 inch Control Display. The Harman Kardon Surround Sound system and the optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System provide an intense musical feast for the ears.
Of course, safety features are incorporated too. BMW safety technologies include six airbags, Attentiveness Assistance, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), electric parking brake with auto hold, side-impact protection, electronic vehicle immobilizer and crash sensor, ISOFIX child seat mounting and integrated emergency spare wheel under the load floor.
Driver assistance - no, no, not that person standing on the side and waving to the driver as he tries to squeeze the car in tiny spaces, but actual in-built technology is worth noting too. The spread of driver assistance systems is more extensive than ever. Parking Assistant Plus with Surround View Camera makes parking in tight spots easier by taking over acceleration, braking and steering. The new Reversing Assistant provides unmatched support in reversing out of parking or through narrow driveways. It keeps a record of the last 50 metres driven and assists by taking over the steering. With the BMW Remote Control Parking, a driver can park his car into a tight parking space without being inside the car. It may be your driver parking, but all this will surely help in those tight parking slots.
The 7 series is all about quality of course, and it could justifiably also be ‘neighbour’s envy’. That its value goes beyond the car could be gauged from the fact that the media event also had piano players and perfumers on hand!