They say that when you buy a BMW you buy German technology at its best. If you buy the top range of the BMW, well, that is going for the best of the best for sure. The BMW 7 series raises the bar of excellence every time a new model is launched. The company will definitely fit in the top of the range of what is available in other versions. If you know what the iDrive is in the 3 series, we would most likely be exposed to its teaser only, this is where you get the real deal and the complete one as well.


For those who know BMW cars, the 7 series will definitely make heads turn and make on-lookers brim with envy for sure. To say the least, the company do not try and make the car look any smaller than it is because of the range and positioning of the 7 series. You will find that one look at this car gives you the impression that it is big, bulky and probably loud. From the back, a lot of people feel that it looks a lot like an SUV instead of a sedan car really. If you look at the front, it is designed using the CS Concept that exudes huge noses as well as the sharp and attractive eyes as its headlamps. Prices for the 7 series are RM618,800 for the 730i, RM748,000 for the 740i and RM648,000 for the 730d versions respectively.


Performance of engine

There are in total 3 different variations of the 7 series which are the 740i, 750i and the 730d, all of which are turbocharged engines. Among the three, the 750i is the top range which is comes fitted with a V8 turbocharged N63B44 4.4 liter engine. The car produces up to a whooping 407 horsepower between 5,500 to 6,400rpm and a peak torque of 600Nm between 1,750rpm and 4,500rpm. You will be able to get from 0 to 100km/h in a bit more than 5 seconds.


A lower version engine is the 740i which typically is the twin turbocharged N54B30 3.0 liter inline 6 engine. It is capable of giving you about 320 horsepower at 5,800rpm. The peak torque of 450Nm can be achieved at 1,500rpm where you will most likely be able to get to 100km/h in about 6 seconds or slightly less. The 730d is essentially the diesel version of the 7 series which comes with an inline-6 turbodiesel engine. This version gives you up to 245 horsepowers at 4,000rpm, and peak torque of 540Nm from 1,750rpm to 3,000rpm. Although expected, the 7 series did not come with the 8 speed transmission system but comes standard with the 6-speed instead. This is where you will be greeted with the ultra fast lock-up clutch function which essentially allow you to shift down up to 4 gears at any time.


Suspension and handling

In both the 740 and 750i versions, you will get the air suspension in the rear areas which adopts the multi-link suspension while the front applies the double wishbone design. This was first introduced on the X5. The suspension system is an all-aluminum Dynamic Damping Control system as well as the Dynamic Drive which is an optional feature which uses active anti-roll bars. You can use the Dynamic Damping Control system in various modes like Comfort, Normal, Sports and Sports plus. All these will customize to help you with assisting in steering, behavior of accelerator pedal as well as gearshifts of the automatic transmissions.


The Integral Active Steering system is one that allows you to change the angle of your steering wheel that depends largely on the movement, the wheel rotations speed, and lateral acceleration. Compared to the previous Active Steering system, this newer version allow the moving up the steering wheel to another 3 degrees.


Inside the 7 Series

On the 7 series, you will get the long wheelbase version as well, which is about 140 millimeters longer that comes with an option of a normal back seat bench or 2 single seats and an iDrive controller console in the middle. This is where you can adjust the seats to around 70 millimeters. You could also choose to have a DVD player hooked up to the 2 screens fitted at the back of the 2 front seats as well as massage function in the chairs. If you choose to have this, you will have the massage bubbles fitted in the seats which gives you great comfort. The proprietary BMW Black Panel is typically an analog meter panel which is actually a full colored LCD panel with 4 chrome dials. The dials, needles and scale information are physical items while all others are illuminated through its LCD.


Navigating the iDrive


For the iDrive, the 7 series is fitted with the latest version as compared to all the lower Series BMWs. As you will notice and know by now, the iDrive system gives you control over all the essential functions when you are in the car like GPS navigation, pairing with your mobile phone and very importantly entertainment. You will notice significant changes in the controller knob as well as the display of the system. Learning to use the iDrive will surely take a while where you will notice 3 different input modes. You can either turn the buttons to the left or right for vertical scrolling, push them in the four-way of top, down, left or right or tilt the knobs which are suitable for horizontal scrolling and pressing them if you want to select a specific function, very similar to the Enter key on the computer keyboard.


The interface of the iDrive have changed to be more user-friendly and you will notice some sort of intuitive and behavioral functions. On top of that, you will also notice 4 main shortcut buttons which you can select to choose between radio, telephone, CD or navigation GPS. The LINGUATRONIC system is a revolutionary function that allows for voice command where upon activation via a control on the steering wheel, receives and analyze your voice commands and then displayed on the iDrive interface. Compared to the lower versions of 8.8 inch displays, the 7 series comes with a larger 10.2 inch resolution LCD panel capable of giving you up to 1280×480 pixels which are far clearer and shaper. The ConnectedDrive system in the iDrive is one that you can use to browse the internet where it will connect you through various telecommunication standards like GPRS, EDGE of the typical GSM networks although 3G is yet to be supported. If your mobile phone is connected to the iDrive, this function will work to your advantage and convenience. One thing about this feature is that you can only browse the web when the car is stagnant and you can do so by using the iDrive knob of the system as your mouse pointer.


To use the navigation maps, the hard disk space here is essential to store all the maps you need to help you get around while you can also use them to store MP3 music files that can be transferred from your USB players and such. As per its previous version, it can rip CDs into smaller files and then you no longer need to load the CD to listen to them. One thing cool about this function is that the MP3 files can be played with the music information like the song title and artist details downloaded through the CDDB database online.


Another cool function of the iDrive system in the 7 series is the integrated video functions where you can view them through the wide angle camera which are fitted in the rear bumper and another 2 cameras in the front bumpers. If you need help, the manual is uploaded and available through the iDrive system where you can read and learn more about using the system. You can also use the 3D maps downloaded on the iDrive Navigation system. This is where you can display the the maps in split or full mode, thanks to the large 10.2 inch display screen provided. If you choose split mode, you will most likely get to view the route and map concurrently or if you prefer you can view the whole map displayed.


Standard accessories of the 7 series include a single DVD player with auxiliary input capabilities and USB input. Alternatively, you can add in a TV system, a digital radio receiver or a 6 DVD changer as well. As for the audio quality, you can upgrade to the BMW Professional HiFi system or go for the best which is the 16 speakers BMW Individual High End Audio system which are commanded by the Neodym magnetic drives and Hexacone speakers powered by a 9 channel amplifier.


On the long wheelbase versions, you can choose to have either one of the 2 versions, the first type is the Rear Seat Entertainment System where you can use the remote control to operate the system displayed in the 8 inch monitors mounted on the back of the front seat. This is where you can actually view different sources of entertainment at any time on the 2 LCD screens. Otherwise you can use the Rear Seat Entertainment High System which gives you a larger 9.2 inch iDrive controller mounted on the armrest in the middle of the rear seats.


Driving the 7 Series


The car is built on high tensile steel with and all-aluminum roof while the engine hoods, doors, front springs and fenders all made out of aluminum as well which makes it lighter. Airbags are included while ABS is also standard. The ABS is also connected to the Adaptive Brake Lights that activates to give you more light when ABS is on. If you jam on the brakes to a standstill the Hazard lights flash on automatically. The car comes standard with Bi-Xenon headlamps as well as daytime driving lights are also included. Most of the lights function around sensors that dims when light intensity are high and functions pretty well the other way. Wipers too are automatic. In terms of headlamps, you are given 2 choices, the The Headlight Assistant system activates when it does not detect oncoming cars via their lights and turns off when a car approaches. The Adaptive Headlight Range Control controls the angle of the light which are useful when you are driving around corners. An LED display that tells you whether the Lane Change Warning is on or off is used if you are overtaking and vibrates the steering wheel if you are planning to do so and a car is at the blindspot next to you. An integrated Land Departure Warning system which is used to detect the markings on the road. The steering wheel vibrates if you are driving off the lane.


Cameras are used in the Speed Limit Display system which detect road signs and inform you if you are off the speed limit of the highway. The Active Cruise Control let you decide how far you would like to be with the car up front as well as to set your cruise control speed for the drive. The revolutionary Night Vision shows you whatever is lurking in the dark if you cannot see what’s up in front.