The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. 1200hp of raw power. It’s the world’s faster and most powerful production car. Ferrari LaFerrari. A 950 piece of art riding on a tingly V12 petrol engine. I could drone on these supercars for hours – perhaps a day. But I choose not to. The bristling muscle in these supercars, to me, is compensation of what they lack in functionality, practicality and comfort.
The new BMW 7 series doesn’t have much compensation to do.
It is a true deity of what a modern car should be – a rolling office, holiday suite or a powerful machine that can make a decent dash from your office to a corporate meeting a good kilometers away.
BMW’s intuitive design has managed to make this high luxury car a real companion to the modern day working class by adding a generous splash of gadgetry to the tested and proven German engine and chassis.
It begins with the key
The BMW 7 Series key resembles the standard fob you’d find in the market only that it carries a tiny addition – a full-colour touch screen. Let this tiny addition fool you not. With this, you could control a range of features on the car, for instance switching on the AC provided you have it charged.
Should you use up all the battery’s juice, you have a secondary inferior battery that converts the fob into a regular wireless key till you recharge the main battery.
From air conditioning to smell conditioning
An optional Ambient Air package lets you condition your car’s fragrance. You no longer have to place endless cans of air freshener to create a pleasant odour in your car. With you will definitely find something you love in the eight different offers that you can set to three intensities depending on your needs. This, however, doesn’t make BMW the first to make fragrant cars. Mercedes beat them to this with their latest S Class.
The executive package for a true executive
I bet this is what BMW had in mind when designing this car.
You can recline the rear seat up to 42.5 degrees, move the front seats all the way forward, electrically remove the rear seats headrest and pop out a footrest.
The rear centre console is home to a 7-inch Samsung Command Tablet that controls a wide variety of the car’s features. You no longer have to talk to your chauffeur when making the conditions favourable for your executive needs or setting up a massage on the car’s ‘Vitality Program.’
At the back of each front seat are 10-inch displays that are apparently not touch screen. You can Chromecast to them from your phone, tablet or laptop or control what they display using the 7-inch tablet on your centre console.
A panoramic sky lounge
An LED sky lounge roof is a cheaper option of Rolls-Royce’s fibre optics ‘starlit sky’ system. Switch it on and you get to enjoy a soothing star etched roof in a choice of different colours.
What does the driver get?
The BMW 7 series puts the driver in an arguably similar utopia. Cameras will look out for road signs, ensure you won’t miss any and share the information with other BMW cars. A larger head-up display gives you more command over the sensors and gizmos in the car while heralding the realization of a windshield display.
Even though you won’t have the pleasure of calling your 7 series by a pet name and ordering it to drive it home, it can still do its fair share of the work – provided you keep a reassuring hand on its shoulder (a single hand to the wheel in this case).
An intelligent cruise functionality will start and stop the car on its own. The traffic jam assist will start and stop the car in a traffic jam provided you have one hand on the wheel. It will also park itself though for legal reasons in the USA, you must be in it as it handles this ‘complicated’ task.
The powerful iDrive with limited gesture control
The car comes with iDrive 5.0, BMW’s impressive connected car system. iDrive 5.0 offers touchscreen support whilst maintaining the traditional controller at the central console.
Moreover, the driver gets limited gesture control that convey a series of gesture instruction to the car. For instance, a circular motion of your finger can increase or reduce volume while a left or right wave of the hand could accept or reject calls.
Piece of advice
If you ever buy one of these, remember to tag a designated driver along.