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2022 BMW 7 Series Mild Hybrid Singapore Review - 735 sDrive Pure Excellence

A short while after BMW launched the electric i7 luxury sedan, an all electric version of the BMW 7 series, the latest petrol powered 7 series was launched in the form of the BMW 735 sDrive Pure Excellence, a mild hybrid which features as a long wheelbase model as standard. For the first time ever, the car is available with an optional two tone paint job, giving it a Rolls Royce like luxury limo vibe. Packed with heaps of new technology including the latest BMW OS8 integrated curved display, as well as the new BMW interaction bar, the car is as modern as it is luxurious. Rear passengers will be extremely happy with the immense leg room, dedicated control panels on each door, and superb ride comfort from the adaptive air suspension set up.

Larger and Grander than Ever Before

Unsurprisingly, the latest BMW 7 Series is the largest and most premium 7 series to date. BMW has for some time now, been gradually making the shift towards being more upmarket - with this upward shift more prevalently seen with the staple 3, 5, and 7 series lineups. While other generations of the BMW 7 series have been offered in a standard wheelbase, the latest car is available in Singapore only as a long wheelbase.

The new LWB version of the 735 is 130mm longer, 48mm wider, and 51mm taller when compared to the LWB version of its predecessor - a sizeable increase to say the least. With its larger frame, legroom is luxurious in the second row, and the car is imposing on the roads to say the least.

Needless to say, furnishings and fittings are top notch, and the 735 possesses some of the most comfortable seats ever fitted to a car, no doubt made even better by all round built-in massage seats all around the car. Previously, the 7 series, especially in a standard wheelbase, could still be perceived as a car that is used for self-drive. The latest 7 series however, feels a lot like a car to be chauffeured in - though it must be said that the 735 is still an excellent driving machine with plenty of positive driving traits to speak of should you decide to take it out for a spin. Last but not least, the new 2-tone paint job really does elevate the 7 series to another level, giving it a prestige factor that was once perhaps only previously seen on a Rolls Royce or a Bentley. Mind you, its a hefty optional extra though.

Packed Full of Technology

One of the things that first struck me as I got into the car was how technologically inclined the cabin felt. Aside from the immense integrated curved display operating OS8, the rest of the cabin does away with traditional opulence, which makes way for interactive touch bars, touch screens, button operated auto doors, invisible air-conditioning vents, and dynamic ambient lights which pulse and move intermittently - as if to remind you that the car is now alive.

As someone who is old at heart, I had initial reservations about the 7 series' modern new interior - after all, it would seem that the traditional demographic of a 7 series buyer would be one who is perhaps older and more traditional. I wondered if this new interior would be too much for this group of buyers - I mean, the car doesn't even have an analog clock.

However, upon further reflection, It occurred to me that like with most things, products and services must move forward to cater to new groups of customers. In the case of the new 7 series, appealing to a new, dynamic era of young, affluent leaders of industry who could understand and appreciate the novelty of having button-operated self opening / closing doors - which are absolutely brilliant fun to play with by the way.

A New Level of Passenger Luxury

The 735 operates a 3 litre turbocharged inline 6 pushes out 282 bhp and 425Nm of torque, with the assistance of a 13kW mild hybrid motor, providing silky smooth performance and a wafting lightness that is impressive for a car of this size. When demanded, the 735 is capable of being pushed, and even has a rather throaty sounding exhaust note to complement its performance.

However, despite having such capabilities, it is no secret that the 7 series does its best work as a cruiser, and the best seat in the house is likely one of the two rear seats, which enjoy superb legroom, headroom, and comfort - thanks to all round adaptive suspension set ups. That said, it is the technology and gadgetry in the new 7 that truly impresses and sets it apart from other luxury sedans.

In the rear, instead of a large control panel that is typically located within the centre armrest, BMW have decided to install a dedicated touchscreen control panel on each of the rear door panels - which means that each rear passenger has a dedicated control screen on their side of the car. Functionally, this is a small and rather insignificant change, but look at it from the standpoint of luxury, and these small touches do make you feel that little bit more special indeed. Last but not least, the new 7 series will eventually be available with an optional 31 inch television screen that nestles in the roof panel when not in use, but lowers down for the benefit of the car's rear passengers when called upon. It will be the largest television screen ever fitted to a sedan of this nature and looks like an immense amount of fun if I'm being honest. Unfortunately, we won't have this option in Singapore right at this moment, and will have to wait a little while longer to dabble in this sorcery.

Who Will it Appeal To?

Interestingly, due to the upward price shift of the new 7 series, it would seem that traditional 7 series buyers will likely be out-priced, which also means that traditional buyers might not be the core target market for this car. Instead, younger or more modernly inclined individuals with an appreciation for technology and gadgetry might find themselves swayed toward the 7 series, away from other more traditionally inclined luxury sedan offerings.


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