There are some cars you will enjoy driving, and there are others where you will take pleasure in being chauffeur-driven. The BMW 740Li Design Pure Excellence (DPE) Signature, priced at INR 1.5 crore on-road price is one such example that takes back-seat accoutrements to a whole new level.
From multi-function massage seats to power deploying footrests to the world's first series-produced car that allows owners to park their vehicle remotely - to the hilt - the BMW 740Li DPE Signature makes most luxury cars in its range humdrum.
So does BMW's flagship 7 Series luxury sedan line, in its sixth generation, offer an overabundance of opulence? And would this be my pick of chauffeur-driven executive cars, the day I ripen onto CEO payrolls? Mr Hebbar are you listening?
So, what is luxurious about the BMW 740Li DPE Signature? For the exterior character, the design has a quiet strength to it, at the same time boasts of muscularity. The striking shoulder line extends from the headlight to the sharp tail light emphasising the 740Li's imposing presence.
One uniquely distinctive design detail is the proud and upright active Kidney Grille with visible air-flap control, which remains closed to improve aerodynamics, and opens as required when engine, brakes and other components need air cooling.
The most noticeable feature is the BMW laser LED headlight, which in high beam and depending on the given speed, boosts the beam range and offers high luminance up to about 600 meters as compared to 300 meters from a standard LED headlight. The laser light increases visibility for the driver and provides greater road safety. It is considered the next stage in automotive lighting and is supposedly better than any other light source available today.
The exterior styling follows typical BMW 7 Series proportion with short front overhangs and a long bonnet and flowing C-pillar into the boot lid. Overall, the design language of the 740Li is a combination of proportion and detail.
The interior is opulent and luxurious and has an airy, bright and comfortable feel, with an array of leather, wood and aluminium inserts. There is also a generous amount of space for laid-back travelling. Case and point, the rear seats reclining up to 42.5 degrees, two 10-inch displays mounted behind each front seat for entertainment, power deploying footrests just like international first-class airline seats; to a gentleman function, for adjusting the front passenger seat from the rear.
Sitting in the rear centre console is a 7-inch Touch Command Tablet by Samsung running Android. The tablet can be removed and held in your hand to control a variety of car functions such as the sun blinds, air-conditioning, ambient lighting, panoramic roof; and BMW's vitality massage programmes through active seat movements, which keep you from stiffening up over long drives.
A big car feature is the two-section Panoramic Sky Lounge LED roof. Rolls-Royce, a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW offers a similar option in their vehicles through fibre optics wired directly into the headliner; whereas, BMW takes a more cost-effective approach by projecting light across 15,000 etchings on the sunroof's glass, mimicking a starlit sky in a choice of six colours.
Also, a never-seen-before feature makes its way to the 740Li, where you can interact with the infotainment system (BMW iDrive) via simple hand gestures, thus allowing you to keep your eyes on the road.
There are four predefined gestures: a clockwise gesture with your index finger to increase the volume, and counterclockwise to decrease; also swiping your hand right or left allows you to accept or reject a call, and an additional fifth horizontal peace-sign gesture meant for your customisation. This technology is aided by a pair of infrared sensors on the roof near the mirror and map lights track your hand and fingers to translate the gesture.
Overall, the beautifully designed and moneyed interior has high-quality material and exquisite craftsmanship, which grants driving pleasure as well as the joy of being driven in the back seat.
BMW 740Li Remote Control Parking
With all the interior tech and creature comforts experienced as a passenger, spending time behind the wheel may seem like a second thought. However, you will not be disappointed if you find yourself behind the wheel.
Acceleration is smooth and effortless, thanks to the 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and eight-speed ZF transmission. The maximum power output is 322bhp at 5,500rpm, supplemented by 450Nm of torque, which kicks in just below 1,500 - 5,000rpm. Plus, the standard air suspension system makes the 740Li a very comfortable and relaxing highway car.
Also on offer is four different driving modes: EcoPro, Comfort, Comfort Plus and Sport. These modes simply do what they say; EcoPro is set up for mileage, while Comfort, Comfort Plus and Sport mode adjust the engine, suspension and gearbox settings accordingly.
For Indian roads, we felt the adaptive mode works best, which keeps the body roll well under control while being quite supple. On Sports mode, the 740Li is pleasingly accurate while tackling sharp bends with considerable control for something of this size (5.21 metres in length). For the most part, all the steering modes are light (something your Chauffeur will love); however, it will fall short on feedback for the enthusiastic driver - although we are not sure why you'd want to drive the 740Li, versus being driven.
BMW 7 Series Variants On Sale In India
|730Ld DPE||2993cc Diesel, Automatic|
|730Ld M Sport||2993cc Diesel, Automatic|
|730Ld DPE Signature||2993cc Diesel, Automatic|
|740Li DPE Signature (Reviewed)||2998cc Petrol, Automatic|
|730Ld M Sport Plus||2993cc Diesel, Automatic|
|730Ld DPE (CBU) ||2993cc Diesel, Automatic|
|750Li DPE||4395cc Petrol, Automatic|
|750Li M Sport||4395cc Petrol, Automatic|
|M760Li xDrive||6592cc Petrol, Automatic|
Jobo Kuruvilla Thinks!
Loaded with tech and a seemingly limo-like buoyant ride that soaks up kilometres like a sponge, make the BMW 740Li DPE Signature your choice for perfect a chauffeur-driven road-trip. For it certainly is a better alternative than most commercial air travel options.
The 740Li combines safety, elegance and luxury, shaping this luxury sedan into a powerful combatant, easily taking the challenge to match up to the Mercedes Benz S Class, which has long been considered the ultimate in luxury and refinement.
BMW 740Li DPE Signature vs Mercedes-Benz S 400
|BMW 740Li DPE Signature||Mercedes-Benz S 400|
|Engine: 3.0-litre inline-six turbo petrol||3.0-litre V6 turbo petrol|
|Transmission: Eight speed auto, rear-wheel drive||Seven speed auto, rear-wheel drive|
|0 - 100kph: 5.6 seconds||6.1 seconds|
|Estimated top speed: 250kph||250kph|
|Estimated mileage: 9.5 litres per 100kms||12 litres per 100kms|
|On sale in India: Now||Now|
|Approximate on-road price: INR 1.5 crore||INR 1.5 crore|