Published on January 28th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW 740Le xDrive test drive without any sugar added
Now with a 3.0L Petrol Engine to give you the power you wanted.
It was a weekend with a luxury car from the BMW stable and we were thinking of ways to enjoy this RM594,800 vehicle. Well, we do get to test drive luxury vehicles ever so often from Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Jaguar, Range Rover and Porsche, but it has been a while and so we wanted to see the street reaction for this all new BMW signature nose look. It has received plenty of positive and also negative comments and even we were a little surprised at BMW’s decision to revise their classy nose treatment with this ‘larger than headlights’ nose treatment.
Please note that our test car carried a new BMW colour, Bernina Grey which received some admiring glances and some questions on its name when we parked in crowded areas in the city.
The Design Language
This new BMW 7 Series in the Pure Excellence exterior design comes with a large, upright kidney grille with active shutters complemented by a larger BMW roundel that is 95mm in diameter, compared to the previous measurement of 82mm. While the front apron no longer includes the fog lights, the new, particularly slim and elongated headlights with laser light technology is now a characteristic design feature of the BMW luxury models. The lower part of the new front apron also has large air guides running across the outer air inlets, a first for a BMW, whereby incoming air is directly guided to the brake air channels and the Air Curtain.
A new aspect of the side view is the almost-vertical Air Breather just behind the front wheel arches. The long wheelbase and precisely sculpted character lines also gives the vehicle an equally imposing figure from the side. The air vents integrated into the side panel now extends further up, optimising the air stream through the wheel arches. The New BMW 7 Series also features 19″ light alloy wheels in Double-spoke style 630 Bicolour with mixed tyres.
This luxury sedan is equipped with a stylish sports steering wheel, Poplar Grain Grey fine-wood trim, Alcantara headliner and Nappa Leather upholstery. The electrically adjustable comfort seats also feature a massage function for passengers in the rear. For added enjoyment, a Panoramic glass roof Sky Lounge gives passengers a peek above the vehicle. Automatic four-zone control air-conditioning is also available, along with roller sunblinds and the rear-seat Entertainment Experience. Music can be enjoyed via the 16-Speaker Harman Kardon Surround Sound System.
A 6 Cylinder Under This Hood
Sitting at the heart of the vehicle is a three-litre six-cylinder petrol engine with a peak output of 210 kW/286 hp. The advanced electric motor accompanying it contributes another 83 kW/113 hp. Positioned under the rear seats is a lithium-ion battery with state-of-the-art battery cell technology and improved storage capacity that enables the New BMW 740Le xDrive Pure Excellence to cover 46 kilometres on electric power alone. The all-electric top speed is 140 km/h.
Additionally, the plug-in hybrid drive boasts an electric boost function that makes for significantly more powerful acceleration. When the Driving Experience Control is set to Sport mode, the New BMW 740Le xDrive Pure Excellence has an overall system output of 290 kW/394 hp. The luxury sedan is capable of doing the century sprint in just 5.1 seconds. The luxury sedan has a combined fuel consumption of 2.8 litres per 100km, and a combined carbon emission of 65 g/km.
An eight-speed Steptronic transmission offers exceptional power to the drive wheels. The transmission is intelligently integrated with the navigation system, the cameras and the radar sensors, enabling efficient use of the start/stop system and the coasting function. The intelligent coasting function prevents inefficient engine cut-offs. The electric motor is fully integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic transmission as well. This ensures that pure-electric driving, the dynamics-enhancing electric boost function and the recuperation of braking energy are all extremely efficient.
The New BMW 740Le xDrive Pure Excellence sets a new benchmark in riding comfort and driving experience, thanks to the advanced chassis design. It incorporates an intelligent mix of aluminium, high-strength steel and a body structure benefitting from magnesium and carbon reinforcements (Carbon Core).
In The Rear Seat
Yes, this is where most owners will spend their time and there is little to find fault as the well fed owner will find the seats very accommodating and the powered adjustments will help get the tall and also not so tall owner in a comfortable seating position.
In easy reach are the music and climate controls using a detachable touch screen tablet housed in the rear center console (its from Samsung) and sound insulation is almost as good as in its newly acquired sibling’s products (Rolls Royce).
Now, if this BMW owner decides to drive this precision transportation machine himself, they will find the 3-liter 6-cylinder engine a joy as it rumbles across the engine revolution range. This 286bhp engine works with a 113bhp electric motor that provides seamless power delivery which makes driving this large sedan easy. Yes, the handling makes it agile and you might almost forget that you have a long spacious rear end following your steering inputs. It feels almost like 3 Series around the long sweeping curves and its only the tight corners that remind you of its long wheelbase and weight.
With an overall powertrain output of close to 399bhp, this luxury sedan can accelerate from 0-100km/h in a surprising 5.1 seconds and it really does. When its battery is charged and you drive it diligently in ECO mode you can get a fuel sipping 2.8 litres per 100km which in the real world, you and me know that no RM595k car buyer will be looking to save fuel on his dally commute. Still, the engineering has been provided and all they need to do is use it to keep carbon emissions down.
Is this the ‘best’ luxury sedan under RM1 million? Well, its immediate rivals, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (S560e at RM658,888 CKD), the Audi A8 (RM880,000 CBU) and the Lexus LS (RM799,000 CBU) are no less comfortable and spirited. It is just a debate on which luxury car design tickles your fancy at first sight and which peaks your interest when you are lounging in the rear seat. At this asking price it is hard to ignore this Bernina Grey sedan when you realize that the 6th generation 730Li sold for RM698k in Malaysia which is a good RM104k more expensive just a few years ago.
Specifications BMW 740Le xDrive
Engine: 6-cylinder Twin Scroll Turbo Petrol
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic Transmission
Max Output: 282bhp @ 5000rpm
Max Torque: 450Nm @ 1500rpm
0-100km/h: 5.1 seconds
Top Speed: 250km/h (restricted)