The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

BMW's New 7 Series: This is Driving Heaven...Anywhere on Earth - VIDEO ENHANCED

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

By Marty Bernstein
Dresden, Germany

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The BMW 7 Series just isn't a car, nor can it be referred to as just a vehicle or an automobile, this is a fine, exclusive, elegant motorcar … in the oldest, grandest sense of the term but with contemporary commitments to style, agility, elegance and quality.

BMW had been keeping the 7 Series info lid on tight till a recently when the group of journalists I was with, saw a preview of the vehicle on a huge video screen and in person in a vast venue in Dresden, Germany.

There was looking and touching, but no driving yet, Danke! There was, however a feeling of ela-tion and, yes, even anticipation.

A feeling that was confirmed the moment I saw a row of these rather exhilarating motorcars parked in front of the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Hotel in Dresden, Germany. (pic available) Under the bright early morning sunlight, the 7 looked solid, strong, muscular and not that much different from the previous generation. (pic available) Ah, but opening the door and getting into it elicited an audible “wow” this is the best looking interior of any BMW ever and sets a new benchmark for other luxury cars. (Note the differentiation in words) (pic available)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Sliding onto the Über soft Nappa leather seat was as easy as putting on an old pair of Gucci loaf-ers and just as comfortable. Gazing forward between the leather wrapped wheel which was loaded with handy device levers was the all new, easily read Black Panel display. (pic available)There’s a heads-up info display projected on the windshield that, frankly took a bit of time to get accustomed to, but then was sensational.

Click PLAY to watch the complete BMW 7 Series Internet Launch

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The knobs (ceramic naturally nicht plastisch) and other controls for HVAC, entertainment, infor-mation and navi are all encased in a dashboard that combines tactile freshness with multi-layered wood, and leather that’s simply elegant. (pic available)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Of course there is an array of info-tech-tainment that is sure to please the geek within, but the bane of design technology, the infamous iDrive, is improved for ease of use …somewhat. I still don’t like it after all these years. (pic available)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

After the usual personal safety ritual of proper seat adjustment – 16 or more positions thank you – steering wheel height and location, review and outside mirrors and head restraint, it was time to push the start-stop button … which I did … but before I could push it again (I couldn’t tell if it had started) my co-driver/navigator/jazz provider yelled, “It’s already going!” And he was correct. The engine is so quiet it’s really hard to hear.

Getting out of Dresden was miraculously easy thanks to a very effective and efficient special guide map prepared for journalists – and the fact one had to weave this rather large and heavy but amaz-ing agile motorcar through heavy traffic, motor coaches and street trains.

But that was just the start of an incredibly quiet ride and drive through some beautiful countryside on some of the former East German roads, byways, and lanes and of course the no speed limit autobahn. (pic available)

Behind the wheel of the new BMW 7 lets you truly enjoy the driving experience – this is the ulti-mate in automotive pleasure. There’s energy from the road to your body as it energetically responds to your commands with confidence and control. This is not some large languorous land limo.

This is a BMW that is meant to be driven.

Power comes from the all new BMW engine, a 4.4-liter, 32-valve 400-hp turbocharged V-8 engine with twin-- turbo technology with fuel injection. Big and powerful. Groß und stark

The twists, turns, traffic circles of the open or semi-open road combined with in-town-village-hamlet driving with near dodges and missed turns or pedestrians walking was effortless. The new 7 is lithe, nimble and moves like a ballet dancer with exceptional grace and responsiveness, almost anticipat-ing your next move or maneuver.

At high speeds on the autobahn between 130 and 150 mph, 60 to 75 on road with limits or in-town at 25 to 30 mph range, the powerful V8 hums rhapsodically, never straining for the surge of power when it is needed all from six-speed automatic transmission that is smooth as glass.

Changing the ride and handling to Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+ is accomplished by push-ing a button and the change is instant and dramatic. The new rear wheel system at lower speeds is a welcome addition for city driving.

As befitting a true luxury sedan the rear seats of the 7 series are exceptional with many details for riding in comfort style including lots of legroom for those over six feet, not that I am, but it was nice to let my partner drive as I tried the back seat listening to some classic jazz on the wonderful sound system.

The list of features and attributes of the 7 Series include a Integrated owners manual for instant access when information is needed, fully integrated use of Apple iPhone, BlackBerry and other smart-phones, variable mood lighting, hard disc memory for audio files, bi-xenon headlights with light sensor to automatically turn ‘em on, rain sensor for windshield wipers too, adaptive taillights shine brighter when brakes are hit hard and lots more. (pic available)

All BMW 7 Series are lighter and stronger with a lower center of gravity thanks to aluminum roof and doors that combine with steel body. It is more environmentally friendly with lower CO2 emissions.

The amazingly young and very talented Adrian van Hooydonk, the design director of BMW, when asked about the new 7 Series has been quoted as saying, “Our clear intention with the new 7 Series was to ensure a perfect balance of elegance, presence and sportiness all in one.”

Adrian, your expectations have not just been met, they have been exceeded. Of all the ultimate driving machines from BMW, the 7 Series are the luxury leader. It truly is a heavenly driving motorcar. Coming next month to a BMW dealers showroom next month. Prices start in the higher five figure range, and that’s a helluva value too considering what you get.

Click PLAY to watch The Auto Channel's RoadTrip episode on the new BMW 7 Series