The BMW 7 Series has gone under the scalpel big time. Big being the operative word, since it is in fact, much more than a facelift. It has that really impressive massive front grille and BMW logo and an increased amount of sophistication and sleekness in its design - both in the metal and in its lighting systems. And now the car has arrived in India. Prices start from ₹ 1.22 crore for the 730Ld design pure excellence trim and go all the way to ₹ 2.42 crore for the top-of-the-line M760Li xDrive model. Now the three diesel engine variants along with the smaller petrol engine model are assembled in Chennai while the 745Le xDrive plug-in hybrid model and the M760Li xDrive are imported as completely built units and it is the 745Le xDrive plug-in hybrid that we drove!
Also Read: Exclusive: BMW X7 xDrive30d Review
BIG on style
Getting straight to the point, the new flagship sedan from BMW sports a new and a massive kidney grille up front which has been quite a subject of debate. Yes! It will leave you gasping for breath initially, but once you see it in flesh, it does grow on you. BMW says that the grille is about 47 per cent bigger than the one on the outgoing model and is the biggest grille on any production model from BMW. The BMW logo on top also gets its diameter increased by 12 mm in order to match up to the size of the grille. BMW has done well to restyle the other bits such as the front bumper and the hood which now have a more muscular look to them, keeping in line with the big grille up front. The hood gets new creases and the front bumper is now more angular, adding a touch of sexiness to the front design.
With all things growing bigger, surprisingly, the headlamp cluster is now slimmer and gets BMW's laser lights with a tinge of blue in the cluster, which looks quite cool in our opinion. At the rear, the LED tail lamps have become slimmer and sexier too and the boot design is quite elegant. Where BMW could have skimmed is the chrome. The glass area on the sides has a chrome boundary and the bottom of the doors too have a chrome line, along the wheelbase of the sedan. And the front and rear ends too get a BIG dose of chrome! While owners of such cars may like the bling, it is a tad too much for our taste!
BIG on equipment
The sound insulation inside the cabin has been upped as well. So, cabin is even quieter than before. Needless to say, the fit and finish along with the quality of materials is unparalleled and the cabin of the new 7 Series facelift does offer a rather sumptuous, opulent experience. The latest iDrive, ambient lighting, ambient air, massage function for all seats, seat ventilation, the massive panoramic sunroof with the LED light graphic element, you name it and this car has it all. The Design Pure Excellence trim gives you chrome embellishments on the front and rear bumpers, tailpipes, and along the side... and there are special brake callipers.
One of the bigger update is the 7th generation iDrive system which is super-intuitive and the touchscreen infotainment system can be filled with apps and shortcuts as per your liking. The company offers a rear seat entertainment package which includes two high-definition touchscreens with which you can watch your favourite blockbuster. Should you want even more privacy, you can always push a button and get the sun shades up.
BIG on power
With the Indian government making it clear that electric is the way to go, the plug-in hybrid variant becomes significant. And so it is the variant we thought we would showcase to you - and exclusively we might add. Its 3-litre, in line 6-cylinder 280 bhp petrol engine is married to an electric motor that makes 106 bhp and 265 Nm with power stored in a lithium-ion battery. The combined power output of the hybrid system is about 376 bhp and 600 Nm. The claimed fuel efficiency is a massive 39.5 kmpl and the car does the 0-100 kmph sprint in 5.3 seconds with a top speed of 250 kmph.
The new 7 Series plug-in hybrid has a pure electric range of 53 kilometres and it can reach a maximum of 140 kmph. Should you plug it into a regular socket, it will take anywhere between 8-12 hours to charge and if you have a BMW wall charger, charging time goes down by half.
BIG on drive
BMWs have always been pegged as drivers' cars and this one is no different. It is an agile handler for its size and the ride quality is near impeccable. The performance is sprightly and if you are one of those rare buyers that likes to drive his or her 7 Series and not be driven around it, you will love it. The xDrive all-wheel drive system with variable torque distribution makes for more agile handling. The car also has a twin-axle air suspension like some of the SUVs from BMW - which affords you that superb ride quality, front or rear. Given it's the long wheelbase car - both these features do help.
Needless to say, the 2019 BMW 7 Series has seen a fair number of big changes and all of them do elevate the car's appeal. The 7 Series Hybrid is priced at ₹ 1.65 crore. Whether you drive the car by yourself or are to be driven, the BMW 7 Series offers exemplary levels of performance and comfort. It remains, one of the best super luxury sedans that just upped its game.