FIRST impressions are hard to get past, although this Seven will give you reasons to try.
The appearance of this car did not evoke the “Gee I’d like to have one of those,” response. Instead, I thought, “Christ, this thing is giant.” And it makes up for its size – in ugly.
Size is a large part of this new Seven’s stylistic challenge. And this begs the question: when something, anything is overly large isn’t it the designer’s job to help lighten its appearance? Lend it a little grace?
That just hasn’t happened here.
The high beltline actually makes the sedan’s profile look taller and fatter. Why on Earth would BMW borrow this styling element directly from their least expensive car – the One – and use it on their new flagship?
I wouldn’t mind necessarily, but the aesthetic faux-pas looks lousy on the baby Bimmer, too.
Too big is sometimes just that. And the length of the car consists of a mass of cutlines that do nothing shrink this boat, visually. Even this model’s predecessor, portly though it was, somehow managed to look lighter on its feet.
Look, I know how popular it has been in recent years to pick on BMW styling.
On the other hand, perhaps there’s good reason to do so.
Has BMW now become the least homologous line of cars out there? The One and the Seven now look similar and I’m pretty sure that’s not a good thing.
The Six looks like no other car in the lineup, as is true with the Ugly Five and the beautiful Three.
BMW’s rivals have a smart visual continuity in their lineups which makes any Audi look like an Audi and any Benz look like a Benz. Damned If I can say that about BMW’s family.
Back to the Seven. The interior, while clearly well done, is a bit cold in its presentation. It’s sort of fussy industrial, rather than warmly inviting. There are acres of cow, dark wood and shiny metal. And despite all this luxurious gluttony, the cabin still remains uninviting.
All that mass and all that ugly disappear when you drive this car.
Simply put, it’s got tons of power. Just a few minutes in the twisties and you’re left feeling totally comfortable flinging it into and powering out of every turn. You would not find a stick shift out of place here at all, if BMW offered one.
High praise indeed.
The new 750Li provides a terrific, engaging, driving experience that you would never tire of.
But the car does present us with the automotive equivalent of choosing to marry an ugly partner because they’re great in bed. It’d be a thinking person’s move, but still, as thoughtful individual you’d still have to get past that first impression.
Richard Wolf is a Connecticut based architectural designer and owns an E39 gen. M5. We featured Richard in both our BMW Enthusiast and Lime Rock segments that aired on CPTV. In the past, Richard has owned three 7er’s: two E23 gen. 733i’s and one (magnificent) E32 gen. 735i.