All I have to say is: great review! There are some journalists out there who are simply amazing at what they do and Angus MacKenzie, from MotorTrend, is one of them.
Here is an excerpt from his article along with the direct link to the full review.
You remember those old Cold War stories about CIA analysts checking official photographs of Stalin and his generals reviewing the annual May Day parade in Red Square? Every so often they’d find one of the generals had disappeared. A closer look revealed he’d been carefully airbrushed out. It was as if he’d never existed.
The 2009 BMW 750Li is a bit like that: It carefully airbrushes away everything that made its predecessor, the E65, one of the most confronting BMWs ever built. The “Bangle Butt”? Psssht! The tank-like proportions? Psssht! The dash that looks like a piece of furniture; the column-mounted shifter; the odd-ball seat controls: Psssht! Psssht! Psssht! All gone. Walk around the new 7 Series, and it’s as if the E65 had never existed. (Note: the new 2009 7 Series is pictured at left, the E65 7 Series is pictured below)
The irony is the E65 has been the most successful 7 Series in BMW’s history. Despite continual carping from the world’s automotive media over the car’s uncompromising aesthetic, BMW has sold over 344,000 units worldwide. America liked the E65 a lot — the U.S. accounted for 35.7% of total sales, more than twice the number of the second most popular market, China. Germany? BMW’s home market accounted for just 13% of total sales.