If we start a discussion on the topic of the new BMW 7 series, then the controversial design with split headlights is clearly offered, the purpose of which we explained to you in the Bavarian X7 test. To put it in a nutshell – the manufacturer is currently coining the theory that front lights are something like a utility room in an apartment and you don’t want to show it off right away.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Those in the front are no longer kidneys, but proper kidneys.

Another striking element are the giant frontal kidneys (sorry, they are no longer kidneys), which are also backlit. This is to make the opulence of the model stand out even more. Couldn’t it be wilder? But where! For a nice extra charge of 326,534 CZK (yes, we’re not making a mistake here), we have a two-tone Mercedes-Maybach-style paint job. Aerodynamic 21-inch wheels for less than 70,000 CZK are just the icing on the giant bourgeois cake of this seven.

That’s still not all, you get another dose of vanity right after you press the round button on the door handle. Voilà, all the side doors can open and close completely automatically. If you happen to be afraid that the door will slam into something, the ultrasonic sensors located on the sides of the body should be able to detect most obstacles.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

You will have to pay extra for the two-tone bodywork, but it really suits the car.

This formally invites the car in, an offer that simply cannot be refused. And this despite the fact that the tested model belongs to the more moderate sevens. Please enter.

Captive cotton

In the cabin, you will immediately be embraced by ergonomic quilted seats made of two-tone artificial leather, which are both perfectly adjustable to the body and, of course, also heated. Massage and ventilation are surprisingly missing here, but they can be ordered for an additional fee, as well as ultra-luxurious rear seats connected to a giant rear infotainment screen reminiscent of a small cinema (+307,008 CZK).

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The luxurious ergonomic seats are also two-tone.

Of course, it doesn’t end with the luxurious seating, the front of the cockpit is lined with a luxurious-looking strip with optional color backlighting, on which there are sensor buttons for setting functions, opening doors or perhaps regulating the flow of air through hidden ventilation outlets.

No less grandiose is the central console with a glass gear selector, a rotary volume control and also with a large round selector for the iDrive info system. It is marked with the number 8 and you already know it from our previous tests, for example the 2 Series Active Tourer or the X7 M60i.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The central control console looks no less premium.

If you have read the tests, you know that we consider this interface to be a step backwards. The manufacturer has more or less switched to a tablet-style application, which is used by everyone today. For us, the software lost the charm of the fully automotive operating environment, as it is now a mix of half tablet, half car.

On the other hand, the decently functioning factory native navigation has been preserved, according to which you can drive sensibly, and in addition, these map documents can cooperate with assisted driving technology.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Native BMW navigation is one of the best and you can drive according to it.

Furthermore, it works both with a head-up display and with augmented reality implemented using the front camera. This way, you can play an advisor right in front of your eyes, which, for example, shows you where to turn or that you are close to the lane. In short, this set of driving gadgets doesn’t beat even Apple CarPlay.

Finally, we have to praise the combined front displays themselves, as they are easy to read even in direct sunlight, their brightness can be properly regulated, they don’t dazzle at night and the colors on them look beautifully full. Maybe these are better screens than the ones that grace your TV.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The displays are easy to read even in direct sunlight.

In the case of the tested seven, you are not at all bad at the back, but look for that “like in cotton wool” in this configuration rather in the front. On the second breath, however, we have to say that the rear seats are really highly pleasant, which is further supported by their own control tablets, where you can regulate the temperature, adjust the music, close/open the sun blinds and deal with other settings.

Driving in the second row is definitely not a punishment, and thanks to the swiveling rear axle, acoustic insulation and air suspension, it is a really comfortable ride (almost no noise, no vibrations, less force acting on the body in corners). However, it will still pull you behind the wheel to experience the ultimate in Bavarian engineering.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Sitting in the back is highly pleasant, especially thanks to the sound insulation.

A proper energy manager

The seven is currently sold either with a diesel engine, or as a plug-in hybrid, or as pure electric. My colleague Jánský raved about the battery-powered i7 model in his test of this epic machine from another world, while we are left with the basic petrol six-cylinder with 313 hp (450 Nm) which is connected to an electric motor, which itself has 197 horses (280 Nm ).

However, the system result is phenomenal, especially as far as the twister is concerned. Although the BMW 750e with four-wheel drive weighs over 2.5 tons in operation (it’s really meat), on the other hand, the combined power is 489 horsepower and the torque transmitted through the automatic eight-speed monstrous 700 Nm.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The combined output is 489 hp and 700 Nm of torque.

Purely on electricity, the car will realistically (combined) drive something like 70 km if you don’t chase it on the highway. Only in the city, where this drive is primarily intended, can the electric range be extended even further. In addition, the car can manage electricity – just enter a route into the navigation system and turn off the electric drive.

This switches the electrified 7er into hybrid mode and takes care of the distribution of electric power throughout the route. This is mainly reflected in the consumption, as combined (according to regulations) the car can drive around 5 liters of gasoline and 7 kWh per hundred, while with exemplary daily charging you can easily get below four liters per hundred. This then brings the total range per tank (65 l) close to 1,500 km, however, the condition is regular charging of the battery with a usable capacity of 18.7 kWh.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

On average, we drove for about 5 liters and 7 kWh per hundred kilometers.

However, the Bavarian car has one weakness here. Unlike the Mercedes, it does not have fast charging, so it takes approximately three hours to feed it from a classic AC station. In this regard, the Munich companies are behind, because now Škoda will also have fast charging for plug-in hybrids, and thus other siblings of the concern. In the case of plug-ins, it is clearly true that if you do not charge them regularly, they will not give out what they are really capable of.

Ready for the third level

The ride itself has practically no faults, it is simply comfortable in all conditions. The engine whirs wonderfully and quietly, when driving/accelerating at lower speeds, you can gently switch off the iconic sounds from the speakers, equal to the flying saucer from sci-fi movies, in the corners this almost 5.4 meter long limousine behaves like a sports car, ergonomics can be evaluated with exceptions (e.g. seat heating control) very positively and the silence…

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Drive? Practically chassis perfection.

The acoustic insulation inside really reaches the value of “my own silent world”. We must also mention the premium audio, so even listening to music while driving can be a pleasant concert experience. That is, if you don’t indulge in some trimmed “emp-pé-troika”.

The air suspension fits the car perfectly, which can cope with practically every socially acceptable road unevenness, regardless of the size of the wheels or the profile of the tires. And if some mild terrain / a large retarder gets in your way, the entire body can be raised at the push of a button.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Thanks to the air suspension, you can lift the car if you have to overcome worse roads.

In addition, due to the drive, the car has no problem with acceleration in almost any situation. It can do it from zero to one hundred in 4.8 seconds, but even from one hundred to two hundred you won’t have to wait long. The BMW 750e noticeably pulls up to the limiter of 250 km/h, but even then it has the power to go on, only the electronics won’t let it go.

And since the seven-series is ready for third-level autonomous driving and is basically only blocked by legislation, we tried the present augmented assisted driving with the addition of augmented reality (de facto autonomous driving 2.5).

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The seven-seat BMW is ready for Level 3 autonomous driving. The only thing missing is legislation.

Here, it was shown that if the car has enough data, cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, lidars and detailed maps, it can handle basic driving practically by itself (hands must be on the steering wheel). Assisted driving works like classic driving on predictive adaptive cruise control supplemented by a system of centralizing the car in lanes, reacting to selected traffic signs/rules and monitoring the surroundings.

Due to legislation, however, the car can only turn the steering wheel to certain degrees, therefore all “sharper” maneuvers must be physically performed by the driver. In such situations, it is no longer enough to just hold the steering wheel and let the sophisticated electronics guide you, but it is necessary to manually “move”. On the other hand, this assistant can also slow down before a bend, roundabout, triangle, intersection…

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Augmented reality guides the driver in real time.

On the other hand, where is it better to take full control of the steering wheel? In switchbacks or during short crossings between villages where there are bad roads. There, the car cannot drive “by itself” very effectively. It is clear that the road to fully autonomous driving is still very long (and who knows if it is even real), although an autistic visionary with the initials EM claims otherwise and sells an automotive product controversially called “Full Self-Driving Capability” .

So how does assisted driving from BMW combined with augmented reality actually work in practice? Take a look at the one-minute video, where overtaking and passing through the roundabout are captured.

Assisted driving and augmented reality of the BMW 7 Series.Video: Jan Majurník, Jiří Cermák

And wouldn’t you rather have a Bavarian?

The test of the current 7 series also showed one fact, which you could have read elsewhere than at Garage. Some would think it presumptuous to compare the Bavarian with Rolls-Royce cars, but when you test drive the sister model Ghost and then sit in the seven…

Photo: Jiří Cermák

And do you really need a Rolls-Royce?

Comfort, smoothness and fluidity of the ride, driving characteristics and noise reduction start to be dangerously similar. Sure, the Ghost has a velvet twelve, which is a big plus, but other than that, minus the orange paint, the starry ceiling, and the Spirit of Ecstasy statuette, it doesn’t get much better.

So, if you want to drive like a true gentleman, the rolls is the obvious choice, but if you want to physically drive a velvet tuned car, do you necessarily need an aristocratic design and a rolling statue? Wouldn’t a 7th series Bavarian, which is half cheaper, drives similarly and is no less luxurious, be enough for you?

Currently, the basic 740d with six-cylinder diesel costs from 2,914,600 CZK, while the basic plug-in hybrid 750e has a price tag from 3,179,800 CZK. The more powerful plug-in 760e (571 hp, 800 Nm) will cost 3,811,600 CZK. And even if you stuff the BMW 760e to the brim with extras, you’ll get to 5 million, while the rival Rolls-Royce Ghost starts at 7.4 million, and with each surcharge the price goes higher and higher, easily crossing the 10 million mark.

Specifications BMW 750e xDrive Sedan
Motor petrol six-cylinder + electric motor
Displacement volume 2,998 cm3
Performance 230 kW (313 hp) at 5,000–6,500 rpm.
Torque 450 Nm at 1,750-4,700 rpm
Electric motor 145 kW (197 hp), 280 Nm
The combined performance of the hybrid system 360 kW (489 hp), 700 Nm
Transmission automatic, 8 degrees
Tree all wheels
Standby weight 2 455 kg
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 4,8 s
Maximal speed 250 km/h (140 km/h at el.)
Combined consumption (standardized) 1.0-1.2 l/100 km, 23.4-24.8 kWh/100 km
Fuel tank volume 65 l
Battery capacity gross 22.1 kWh, usable 18.7 kWh
Electric range (standardized) 80–76 km
Charging AC 7,4 kW
Wheels and tires 255/40 R21, 285/35 R21
Dimensions (length/width/height) 5 391/1 950/1 544 mm
Wheelbase 3 215 mm
light height 136 mm
Volume of the luggage compartment 525 l