16.4 L/ 100km
What is it?
While it may not look that much different from the outside – it's still unmistakably a 7 Series - this is the sixth generation flagship BMW. The Bavarian car maker has given the 7 Series a refresh with extra equipment, new tech and some chassis refinements – including a substantial diet that's resulted in a dramatic weight drop of 130kg.
From the outside, there's a new vertical kidney grille, part of the BMWs new "family face". The larger grille also serves a purpose – it integrates a porthole for the night vision camera standard on the 750i models) and can open and close automatically to improve aerodynamics.
How much is it?
There are five models in the 7 Series range – the 730d (diesel), the 740i, 740Li (long wheelbase) and 750i and 750Li petrol models. Prices start from $217, 455 (plus on road costs) for the 730d and stretch to $312,415 (+ ORCs) for the 750Li we tested. Our version (equipped with the M Sport package and a few options) comes in at $338,558.51 driveaway.
What does it compete with?
As the epitome of luxury, the 7 Series competes with other flagship limousines, such as the Mercedes Benz S-Class, Audi's A8 and the Lexus LS.
Are there different engines?
Across the range, there are three engine choices – a 3.0-litre six-cylinder twin turbo petrol (740i and 740Li), a 4.4-litre eight-cylinder twin turbo petrol (750i and 750Li) and a 3.0-litre six-cylinder twin turbo diesel (730d). All engines are matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
With 330kW of power and 650Nm of torque, the 750Li covers the 0-100km/h dash in 4.7 seconds. Not bad for a car that weighs almost two tonnes. Fuel consumption is also not bad for a car of this size and weight at 8.1 for the 750i and 8.3 for the 750Li.
It's lighter? How did BMW achieve that?
As mentioned before, the new 7 Series has dropped some serious kilos. But there's no fad diets or gym memberships, it's been achieved by clever use of what BMW calls Carbon Core – in fact, the 7 Series uses the most amount of carbon-fibre of any mass-produced car on the market. The new model uses a carbon-fibre, steel and aluminium for strength, but also to reduce weight which dropped the shell weight by more than 40kg alone.
While typically used as a limousine (with a focus on the rear seat experience) BMW has also ensured that the drive experience, for those that do actually sit behind the wheel, has the traditional BMW driving feel.
What do you get for $350K?
As you can imagine for a car that costs the price of a house in some states, the 750Li comes loaded with gear. If you want some light reading you can check out the 17-page specification guide online but we'll stick with highlights and new additions to keep it simple. Highlights include Nappa leather seats, seat ventilation (front and rear), massage function and heating for all seats, a 12.3-inch screen touch screen, radar cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, heated steering wheel and armrests, Laserlight headlights with cornering and automatic high beam, heads up display, semi-automatic parking, night vision, full electric seating and keyless entry and start.keyless access and keyless start (including contactless opening and closing of the tailgate), a TV, Harmon Kardon surround sound system, Navigation system professional, rear entertainment experience, surround view camera, touch command, night vision with pedestrian recognition, fine wood trim (black) with metal effect and 20-inch M Light alloy wheels.
There are options?
Even at this price tag, there are still options such as a tyre pressure monitoring system, Ambient Air (Air ionisation and scents for the interior. There are eight scents and the intensity can be controlled in three stages via iDrive controller or button in the air-conditioning control panel), Bowers and Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system, Extended rear air-conditioning (two extra nozzles with control unit in the headliner above the outer rear seat), a cool box (fridge) and Alcantara headlining.