BMW 7 Series: Roadtest
Power can be understated, or absolute. With the BMW 7 Series, it most certainly is the latter.
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As the glinting black shape makes itself visible around the corner, it is difficult to not get fixated with its flowy form. Its every move is calculated and precise - blazing fast, but with an air of calm finality. As it draws close and goes past effortlessly, you see the logo that is typifies German performance. You were just passed by a BMW 7 Series. Curiously, what you feel is neither intense desire, nor envy. It is simple, singular respect.
The blokes from Bavaria, though, are not new to inciting downright respect of this sort through their cars. Always on the cutting edge of technology, and almost always getting it spot-on with offerings across segments, BMW is a name known worldwide for making exceptional vehicles. Obviously then, the company would do everything in its power to ensure brilliance in the high-rolling performance luxury segment. They have, and on the 7 Series, it shows. Visual impressions come first, and that holds especially true for a car in the prestige segment. The first impact of the car is created by its expansive dimensions - at over five meters long and two meters wide, the 7 Series establishes some serious road presence. Although it incorporates the trademark muscular design cues that scream out a Beemer's performance inclinations, the demeanour of the car is decidedly majestic.
The typical BMW grille upfront demands attention, and coupled with the bold contours of the bonnet, the fascia looks unabashedly bold. The sides, however, more than make up for whatever the font lacks in terms of elegance. Sleek and classy, they offer but subtle hints of aggression in the form of those sharp rapid lines that run along. Our test car came with BMW's spoke-styled alloy wheels which looked absolutely gorgeous and made the side view seriously striking. The rear is minimalistic, which allows the massive girth of the car to shine through, and the shark fin receiver at the top adds a final swoop of menace to the look.
TIt might be quite a magnificent sight, but at the heart of all things 'BMW' in the 7 Series is its spectacular engine. Cars in the series come with a plethora of engine options which include a crazy-revving 450PS V12, a V8 and an In-line 6 petrol. Our 730Ld test car came fitted with the In-line 6 diesel powerplant, which is a true specimen of BMW's technical prowess. The true-blue German engine drips with technology and refinement, and is probably as fine as diesels get. Generating a stupendous 520Nm of torque which comes in at as low as 2000 rpm, the 730Ld sees 100km/h in less than 8 seconds from standstill. The way one is held in the seat by that dose of diesel torque - while the engine roars out its supremacy, makes pedal-pushing seriously addictive. 231 horses of silky smooth power are unleashed at 4000 rpm, and are delivered to the rear wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission with BMW's Steptronic technology. Gear shifts are quick and the flow of power is seamless right through the rev-band, which allows the 730Ld to reach its 238 km/h top speed with amazing ease. The torque curve is characteristically flat, which not only makes harnessing all that power more predictable, but also provides a comfortable jerk-free ride for the passengers.
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