Why I Love the New BMW 7 Series
Editor’s Note: This is an opinion piece, so treat it accordingly. We, at BMWBLOG, don’t censor our writers’ views, especially when it comes to design. Over the years, we learned that all us of have different tastes when it comes to new or old BMWs.
So, I’ve read all the online comments, watched the videos, and listened to the hate. But I don’t care – I like the new BMW 7 Series. I mean, I REALLY like it, and I want one. This might seem like an odd intro, but let’s start with BMW’s complete reinvention of Rolls-Royce. The original British Rolls was never a car I cared much for. Show me a pre-war Rolls, and I’ll show you a Cord 812 – now that was a car. Show me an immediate post-war Rolls, and I’ll show you a 1949 Cadillac – now that, also, was a car. The 1962 Silver Cloud? Pass me the clap-door Lincoln Continental, please.
OHV V8s and hydraulic brakes were another ten years ahead for Crewe. Like it or not, the Americans used to build better and more interesting luxury cars than Rolls-Royce. Where Rolls-Royce excelled for me was in the really expensive and wacky stuff like the 1975 Camargue, but I will gladly give garage space to an FHC Corniche. After that, they just seemed like big cars that, although superbly finished, didn’t do anything better than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Lexus LS400. The Rolls-Royce V8 engine was a marvelous piece of engineering, though. The last Crewe-built stuff such as the Seraph looks to me like a Korean pastiche. All that cloying Olde English ghastliness. No thanks!
BMW changed all that with the tremendous Phantom VII launched in 2003 – those twenty years shot by, didn’t they? There are few modern cars I really like, but that’s one of them, and the two-door Wraith Coupe is just stunning. I’ve only seen one, and I rode in it too. Finished in monotone dark blue, it easily had the best paint finish I have ever seen. The wood, the trim, the fit and finish, the silence, and sheer go. They cost £250,000 or its dollar equivalent, and if I had the money, I’d have one.
The New 7 Series: A Bold and Angular Design
So, the 7 Series. In its first three generations, it was a good big BMW. The first 1977 E23 missed the mark, the 1986 second-coming E32 hit the target (Mercedes), and the third-gen E38 was a further refinement. But then along came the enormous Mercedes W140, and in 1998, the W220. Time for the bravery pills and “that” phone call to Mr. Bangle…
So, along came the E65 7 Series. Of course, the Old Guard hated it, which was music to Chris Bangle’s ears. As good as the E38 was, the E65 was just a magnificent beast, and I was sorry to see the toned-down 2005 facelift that stripped away a lot of the individuality. Suddenly, the 7 Series was cool with the moneyed 20-something techno people. Think of the first time you saw and used an iPhone, and the E65 was that kind of moment. The 735i was fast, the 745i a rocket ship. It was absolutely fascinating.
After that came the 7 Series you didn’t notice so much. The F01 7 Series is a nice car, but….Ditto the one after, the G11. It’s a superb car, of course, but it’s one I have to Google to remind myself what it looks like, even with the daft grille on late examples. It was all a bit safe.
So here we are in 2023, amidst a multitude of big car designs. The S-Class looks decent enough, I suppose. I can’t even recall what an Audi A8 looks like these days. Do they still manufacture it? The same goes for Lexus… I have no idea what their current design looks like. Jaguar no longer produces anything of that size.
The New 7 Series: A Luxury Car That’s More Than Just a Large BMW
However, the new 2023 BMW 7 Series is truly remarkable. Disregard the enticing photos that caught my attention; I recently witnessed one in person at a dealership, and it was absolutely fantastic. The sheer size of the vehicle is undeniably impressive, but it’s the styling that truly captivated me. Taking a stroll around the G70 model was all it took to convince me. I’m not entirely sure which specific model it was, but it boasted a dark blue metallic color. As soon as I returned home, I eagerly fired up my Mac and promptly visited the online configurator: a Tanzanite (dark blue) standard model with the style 903 19-inch wheels, please. It even looks stunning in white.
So, what makes the styling work? Well, there’s a reason I mentioned Rolls-Royce earlier because, unless BMW outright denies it, the influence of Rolls Royce’s stance and cues is plainly evident. The size, the bold and angular design, the meticulous attention to detail, including those charming recessed chrome door handles. Observe the way it sits. The front-end, with its split-level headlights and the substantial grille that finally appears as if it belongs, as if the car was crafted around it.
The Interior of the New 7 Series: Finally, a Cloth Option
The interior is equally impressive, and finally, you can opt for a cloth interior in a large car. Personally, I’m not fond of leather unless it’s the truly luxurious kind. I like to remind anyone who will listen that in the days of horse-drawn carriages, only the person in charge of steering sat on leather, while the affluent individuals in the back enjoyed velvet or cloth seats.
Although I’m not particularly enamored with modern car designs, I must admit that when someone gets it right, they really hit the mark. Previous iterations of the 7 Series have come close, so very close, to reaching the top echelon where the S-Class sits, but they never quite made it. However, this latest rendition? The doormen at the Hotel Byblos will be falling over themselves. Whether you like it or not, the new 7 Series is much more than just a large BMW.