Top 10 features and tech on the 2016 BMW 750LiIf you consider the tech on-hand in this latest BMW flagship, you’ll see how the bar has been moved so much higher than it was just a few short years ago.
Back in the day, it was enough for a luxury manufacturer to provide a nice set of leather seats, some woodgrain trimming and maybe a bigger engine to better differentiate their car from something more proletarian.
That may be a little extreme – there’s more to it than that – but if you consider the tech on-hand in this latest BMW flagship, you’ll see how the bar has been moved so much higher than it was just a few short years ago. The 750 Li is a top-spec car, no doubt, but there are features in here – both from the driver’s and passenger’s perspective — that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Rolls-Royce not too long ago, as opposed to a car from RR’s BMW benefactors.
Grand EntranceBefore you even twist the key – well, you never actually twist anything, as it’s a push-button start – there’s a sense of occasion. The keyfob, for example, is probably the most advanced you’ve ever seen. It’s called a Display Key, and it’s basically a smartphone app in your hand. Sure; there are your usual buttons for lock/unlock and panic, but you can also set your climate control from here, as well as check if you’ve locked the car and closed the windows.
Lovely leatherYou can talk about interior tech until you’re blue in the face, but when it comes to luxury sleds like this, sometimes, the most classic of touches are what matter the most. While it may not quite be of the same grain employed by Rolls Royce – which BMW GmbH owns – the diamond-pattern leather is fantastically supple and great to run your hand along. The seats themselves are throne-like in their plushness, and the carpets make you want to take off your shoes – or at least wipe them -- before you step in. Other details like real chrome inserts and wood are icing on the cake.
Concert hall quality16 speakers. One 1400 W Amp. Glowing lights behind the stainless steel door pillar tweeters. Even the name – “Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System” – positively oozes luxury. They’re so good, they can produce sounds that the human ear can’t readily perceive, which, apparently, makes for a more detailed sound overall.
Front seat not forgottenThe rear deck may get the big screens, but the front seat gets its fair share as well. The gauge cluster is completely digital (and of course, customizable), the iDrive display is nice and wide and even the climate control system is a quasi-digital display, too. There are redundant buttons and knobs for some controls, however, which is nice.
Of course it’s comfortable out back but it’s entertaining, too.Each passenger has their own 17-inch monitor if you spec your 750Li as such – and many buyers probably will – as well as a Samsung tablet that can either be used as a traditional tablet (email, web surfing, etc.) or as the controller for the rear climate system, the privacy screens and seats. The monitors can display movies, the web or the navigation system. Unfortunately, they can only be operated by the tablet and are not of the touch variety. Guess BMW thought that the $10,000 a bottle moisturizer that the rear occupants would be using would be wasted as they prodded the displays.
Rear seats fit for royaltyIn addition to the extra legroom in the rear cabin, passengers there get all sorts of added creature comforts. The right rear passenger gets a foot rest, the seats recline and massage your back and buttocks (and can be set in numerous ways) and three privacy screens means you can eat your caviar on your fold-out table – yes, that’s a thing in the 750Li – in total privacy. The carpets are also as thick as the rugs in many royal palaces.
New iDrive touchFor the first time, BMW’s iDrive infotainment interface can now be treated as touch-based system, instead of solely relying on the iDrive controller. You can also sweep your hands around in any number of ways as gesture control is here now, too.
Drive customizationNo BMW – however big – will ever be worthy of the name unless it was covered on the dynamic front, too. In that light, your damper settings, steering weight, transmission settings and engine settings can all be individually set. Or, you can choose between pre-selected drive modes. A body constructed of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic and other lightweight materials means it drives a little smaller than it actually is.
It doesn’t quite drive itself, but…A host of electronic driver aids, however, makes it so it pretty much does. Active lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and side collision warning are all things to make your cruising that much more comfortable. What’s especially nice is how easily adjustable it all is; pressing a button mounted just beside the hazard lights brings up the drive aid menu, which allows you to deactivate steering intervention, change how far the car will let you go before forward collision warning is activated, and more. The car also has a self-park feature – activated from the Display Key – in certain markets, but it’s not available in Canada. Not for now, anyway.
It’s longer“Li” denotes this as a long-wheelbase version of the 7 Series (we get both a long- and short wheelbase version, while the US only gets the larger car); that means an extra 140 mm of room between the axles, and almost 75 extra mm of rear legroom, for a total of 1,125 mm. Front seat passengers don’t see an increase, but the cockpit was already an airy one to start with, so there’s little to complain about here. The rear seating area, however, is now cavernous.