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BMW F02 750Li: The Superb 7.

I remember the first time i boarded a plane, i was a very young child, and as i was just a child, i was mesmerized by planes, their shape and their size, and those beautiful looking jet engines poking out from under the wings. For a young boy, going on board a plane for the very first time, it was so very very exciting that when i first sat down on the generously sized chair, i didn’t know what to do. I was pretty much dwarfed by everything. All these little flip up tables, these headphones, buttons on the seats, it was pretty much all sci-fi gadgets to me. I was in awe, for up till that time, all i saw of planes were in picture books or through the viewing gallery, i never imagined what it would be like actually going inside one. Till today, I’ll never forget that feeling of awe and wonder of stepping onto my very first plane ride. Till today, i still won’t get tired of the engine thrust building up before the plane thunders down the runway. All that power, all that torque unleashed to propel this big hunk of metal up into the air. I loved it back then and i love it now.

Now, you must be asking yourself, why am i blabbering on about a plane when i should be writing about the brand new F02 BMW 7 series. The honest truth is, the first time i sat in this new F02, it immediately brought me back to that time when i was a kid, the big seats, all these gizmos around me with buttons to push.

Illuminated door sills

The first time i sat in this new F02, i was in awe of the car and i felt dwarfed by it’s size, presence and all that technology that lay ahead of me. It’s all pretty mind boggling stuff when you try to take it all in for the first time.

Revised iDrive selector and gearstick

Infra-red night vision camera

Infra-red night vision on screen

Heads Up Display

Active Cruise Control radar

Heads Up Display with Active Cruise Control

There’s the revised iDrive with a built in owner’s manual (with demo videos included if you so wish to view), the 80GB hard drive with USB/ipod connectivity, the active cruise control which varies the cars speed based on the traffic ahead, the fantastic Heads Up Display, the new “Black Panel” speedometer, Infra-red night vision, front cameras of both sides and more acronyms then i can remember. Try remembering everything on your first try.

Demo video of Active Cruise Control

Left/Right cameras situated ahead of front wheels

F02 Startup

Push the starter button and that buttery smooth Twin Turbo V8 purrs to life. Do an all clear check of your surroundings before selecting “D” on the stick instead of the previous steering column mounted stalks. The F02 will gently start to move off the line. In an enclosed car park area, the sensation of first moving off is just too similar to how a plane gets taxi-ed off to the runway. You know, that floating feeling you get when you are inside the plane as it first moves off? That’s pretty much how it feels when you first guide the F02 out of the car park. It’s all so quiet, and all you hear is the sound of the air conditioning. Unless you crank up the volume on the sound system of course. (And what a mighty sound it has.)

If you look really really close, you might be able to see the rear wheels turning!

The new 7 series is by no means a small car, but you will be surprised at how easy it is to actually move the car around tight spots. Credit goes to the integral Active Steering on the F02 which varies the steering angle of the rear wheels. Once you get out onto the roads, the steering will play second fiddle to that might 4.4 liter V8 up front. With 2 Turbochargers feeding it, this power plant delivers 407 horses coming in between 5500-6400rpm. But the main event here is the torque figures. 600Nm’s of the good stuff arriving at just above idle, 1750rpms to 4500rpms. That’s more torque then the mighty Audi S8. more torque then a Lamborghini Gallardo and more torque then a Ferrari 599. In other words, this big massive machine moves.

The best way to describe it’s in-gear acceleration is to picture yourself on a catapult. You being the little projectile that gets shot forwards. How this works is, when you put your foot down, that’s the catapult being pulled back, how hard it pulls back depends on how much flex you have on your right foot. When you put it all the way down, imagine the pull back of the catapult corresponding to the kick-down of the 6 speed automatic box and as the gears engage, it’s time for Warp Speed gentlemen. Imagine yourself seated ON the catapult as the rubber tightens and you’re shot forward. That’s how in-gear acceleration feels in the 750Li. It’s that good and that fun.

Triple figure speeds appear before you (literally), in mini-seconds. 0-100 time? That’s not really relevant but if you really needed to know, 5.3 seconds, that’s faster then a 335i! The car stays planted all the way to ridiculous speeds that shall remain unknown. (That’s 90km/h by the way)

Massive brakes to pull back the massive 7

It’s not always the neck-breaking stuff every time though, drivers will have the option to choose between 4 different chassis and response setups with Dynamic Driving Control. The system enables you to vary the set-up of the car at the touch of a button for COMFORT, NORMAL, SPORTS, and SPORTS + modes, changing not only the set-up of Dynamic Damping Control and the response of Dynamic Stability Control, but also the dynamic gearshift on the automatic transmission as well as the control maps for the accelerator and steering assistance.

Most of the time i was driving it though? I left it in comfort because even in comfort mode, the car felt composed and controlled even through fast bends and sweeping roads. It was always planted and you’ll always know what’s going on behind the wheel. The car controls beautifully when you require it to and if you really demand it, a quick push of a button will sharpen up the dampening and throttle responses for some “spirited driving”. With 600Nms to play with, smiles are aplenty. You can even get your bum massaged while your at it.

That first button there gives your bum a massage, the last button there takes over seat controls for the front passenger

Perforated seats also allow cool air to reach the neither regions of your body and with those adjustable seats allowing you to contort your body a million ways, you are sure to find a comfortable position. Those seated at the back after having gone through your bout of “spirited driving” can enjoy watching TV or DVDs with the central armrest coming down with their very own iDrive controls. The roof lining for those at the back also incorporates separate air conditioning controls with a separate compressor sited in the boot. Keeping them in cool comfort, in recline-able seats.

Lets take a step back now and a step out of the F02(letting the doors do their “Soft-Close” thing), and you’ll begin to notice, it’s a lot more purposeful in its design. More angular, more angry, back with a vengeance for those who mocked the older sibling’s controversial looks. The redesigned front grille brings back images of the James Bond 7, more athletic but now, it’s bigger, bolder and more in your face, those front lamps angled down to bully away anyone else that dares to venture in front of the F02. This car wears its size well, and pictures just don’t do it justice, some might say that there are hints of the Lexus LS series in the rear 3-quarters of the overall design and from the interweb and magazine pictures, i was one of those people, but in reality, there is a distinct difference.

The Lexus in comparison looks soft and well, a bit, ‘floaty’ when you put it next to the F02. The new 7 series looks leaner and more taut. One thing to take note of is the concave angles on the bonnet which pictures just fail to present, it sharpens up the long hood of the car and gives it a very cohesive shape.

What do i not like about the 750Li? I hate the price for one, the base price of a 750Li is $428 big ones, this test version if multiple options fitted, lists at slightly over $470 grand. That sort of money nowadays can buy you an apartment. Although the car does have pretty much everything you’ll need except the bathroom. That is the main niggle of this car, the price, but if you are in the market for one of these, then i am sure money isn’t an issue. Let it be know then, that this 750Li is pretty much as good as it gets short of half a million dollars. If money IS an issue (albeit, a small one), take a look at the 740Li, it has almost all the toys, looks the same, and cost about $90,000 less! Take a couple of grand to “juice” up the 740Li’s Twin Turbo Straight Six and you’ll be polishing off another Diamond of an engine.

In conclusion, i love this car. Do i find it desirable? Definitely. Coming from a person weaned from the Fast and Furious camp of the automotive world, it’s really something. Power, prestige, and oozing with presence. The F02 750Li is a top notch build from BMW and a leap ahead from the previous generation 7. Time to start saving i guess.

It doesn’t look out of place even next to a Bentley.

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  1. Good! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

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