I spent a charming weekend in the company of one of the most luxurious and refined cars I have ever driven: the 7 Series with extended wheelbase and a special BMW Individual specification.
A short history about mighty things
The history of the 7 Series starts in the ’60s with the E3 series and officially unfolds in the early ’70s upon the advent of the first generation – the E23. From then up to now, the 7 Series has always been synonymous with pioneering technologies and innovations, an unparalleled level of refined luxury and the superior dynamics and agility, in true BMW style.
Already in its 6th generation wearing the 7 Series nameplate, the Bavarian luxobarge is presenting itself as a classic premium flagship, emphasizing a clearly baroque exterior and interior design philosophy. The complex styling aims to highlight the luxury status of the 7 Series as all-time leader of the BMW portfolio.
For one weekend, I was granted the opportunity to drive a truly spectacular 7 Series customized with a load of BMW Individual appointments. To mark the special occasion, I have also chosen a location that pretty much embodies the German spirit: the village of Deutsch Kreuz (Criț as spelt in Romanian), located in the center of Romania, within the Brasov county.
Former settlement of native German people in Transylvania, the village is located 271 kilometers north of the Bucharest capital city and is highly distinguished thanks to its fortified church of evangelical rite.
The imposing construction is first dated in history at 1270 and the fact it has survived for almost 800 years is nonetheless a symbol of prowess, equilibrium and mightiness. And the 7 Series Individual is undeniably a match in this respect.
Breathtaking visual package
Moving on to our four-wheeled luxury flagship, the 7 Series came equipped with the B57 3.0-liter diesel unit as part of the 740Ld motoring variant. You might be tempted to say it incorporated the 48-volt mild hybrid, but actually the engine is the former one packing 235 kW / 320 PS and no means of electrification, not the new one already on offer for the G11/G12 LCI.
The eye-catching exterior feature of the car was essentially the BMW Individual paintwork: the British Racing Green non-metallic color. It made the whole 740Ld xDrive look simply outstanding, exquisitely elegant and imposing. The special paint job also perfectly suggested and underscored the dynamic capabilities of the 7 Series, rooted in the traditional shade of green used on classic British racing cars.
The exterior was further complemented with the BMW Individual Aluminum Line ornaments which adorned the side window lines, the hockey stick, the exhausts, the kidney grille and the front air vent applications. Given the specced M Sport outer package, the 740Ld xDrive Individual also came with a set of 20-inch M 817 star-spoke light alloy wheels, which consistently underlined the special Individual customization with added M vibes.
Once entering the large luxury cabin, an air of complete sophistication exuded through all pores. The leather upholstery with full content is the BMW Individual Merino Tartufo, with intricate guilting and woven contrast stitching in white. The brown-reddish leather covered the front and rear seats, as well as the lower sections of the dashboard and door covers. The upper part of the doors and dashboard were featured in BMW Individual Merino Black leather with white contrast stitching.
Furthermore, the car comes with galvanized metal buttons on the doors, steering wheel and center console, as well as the metal trims complementing the main ornaments in BMW Individual fine eucalyptus wood with smoked brown finish running horizontally along the dashboard the door covers.
Traveling in style
The 740Ld xDrive Individual is a car that feels serene and calm to drive, but it is also the luxury limousine that you also want to be driven in. You really need to be inside the car to fully experience it. Words won’t be able to describe that feeling.
The BMW 7 Series classic look and feel is quite obvious in this 740Ld xDrive Individual. No abundance of displays, no aftermarket-like integration of the screens, precise and useful physical controls and a pure sense of sophistication. The ergonomics are truly at a high level and the digital technology is evenly blended with the classic architecture from another era.
You don’t need to surf through menus to start the ventilation or the massage programs for the multifunctional, electrically operated front seats. The 740Ld xDrive still has a beautiful HVAC interface where you can do all of that and much more. As the car was also equipped with Ambient Air Package, the perfume ionization function can also be triggered from the climate control panel.
The level of comfort aboard the Bavarian luxobarge is simply unmatched, whether you are driving the car or you are a lucky passenger. Given the longer wheelbase, the room in the rear area is simply enormous. The rear seats can be also be heated or adjusted in the desired position. Fashionable, detachable plush pillows are installed in the rear headrests. For an “extreme” level of comfort for all occupants, the 7 Series can also be driven in the COMFORT PLUS mode.
I know that the trend today is to go minimalistic in all aspects and fit large digital, touch-sensitive displays and surfaces all over the cabin. But I feel that the passion will then be lost. The interior of the current 7 Series generation remains a bastion of fine art, that would eventually become bygone at the advent of the future G70/G71, programmed for official premiere in mid-2022.
A definitive conclusion
The 7 Series still does things properly, in the old fashion way, in an automotive world that now puts a high emphasis on reduction and minimalism. The G12 generation is just right and perfect, even though it sells less than the S-Class, to say. To be honest, it feels special and unique compared to other competitors. And, in the end, this striking 740Ld xDrive Individual perfectly resumes and embodies what’s missing in many, more modern premium models: a pure luxury essence.