Par excellence: Driving the BMW G12 750Li

Par excellence. Definition; better or more than all others of the same kind. A simple line of text which pretty much embodies how we felt after a weekend with the BMW 750Li, Singapore’s flagship BMW.

The arrival of the 750Li also marks the local debut of 2 unique features that were stuck in homologation limbo when the G-chassis 7s first arrived. BMW’s Remote Control Parking and Laserlight. (Pew pew!)

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Optionally available (for just S$2,000 more), Remote parking allows the car to slide in or out of tight parking spots with just the remote control key in your hand and without anyone at the wheel. To see it in motion for the first time is quite an experience.

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While the idea might seem a little far fetched for real World applications, it actually does help when confronted with a number of space challenged parking spaces. Mostly in areas where said driver needed to have had attended a number of Yoga classes just to get in or out of the car, , having the car magically slide in and out of its temporary confines does help make life for tow kays and tai tais that little bit easier.

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Before we get in though, let’s run through some of the aesthetic highlights of our 750Li Pure Excellence.

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As we’ve mentioned in our earlier reviews, the G11/G12 series of the 7-Series are probably the best looking 7s from BMW for quite a while. Not since the E38 7-Series has BMW’s flagship cut such a handsome figure. Coming in with “Pure Excellence” spec means we get plenty of chrome and plenty of presence.

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But apart from the big 20″ chromies (BMW calls them high-gloss polished) and badging, there are not many visual clues to differentiate the 750Li from its slightly less endowed stablemates. Only when you look closer do you see yet another key feature that comes standard on the 750Li, a blue tint in the front headlights. Highlighting the most advanced set of high-beams ever put into a production car, Laserlights.

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These laserbeam headlights generate a particularly bright, pure white light as well as providing a high-beam range of 600 meters, double that of the LED headlights. Also works for annoying road hoggers 6 meters ahead.

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Inside, the 750Li comes fully equipped with every single bell and whistle available on the options list (trust us when we say the equipment list is ridiculously long and will be silly to list it out in full here).

Of particular interest to us, is the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system. A fully active 10-channel amplifier pumping out 1,400 watts of pure aural bliss through 16 beautifully encased speakers.

This B&W system brings such a new joy to once familiar tracks i found myself lingering in the cabin just to play through an extra song or two after I’ve reach my destination. It sounds spectacular and with beautifully crafted speaker covers, looks rather exquisite too.

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Up ahead, the 750Li is blessed with a 4.4 liter BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 unit that has undergone extensive redevelopment. It now comes equipped with Twin Scroll turbochargers featuring flow-separated, bank-specific exhaust manifolds made from thin-wall castings that promote greater engine efficiency.

If that sounds alien to you, here are the numbers. 450 horses and a whopping 650Nm of torque churned out between 1,800 to 4,500rpm, 100km/h comes up in a 4.7 seconds. Porsche territory. And you can do all that while getting a massage through aircon ventilated nappa leather seats.

Interestingly, with all that firepower under the bonnet, powering up the car gives very little away. It’s very quiet and extremely smooth.

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Underneath the very advance Carbon core chassis sits an equally advanced drive train. All the techno-wizardry keywords are here, active chassis control, 2-axle air suspension, Dynamic Damper Control, Dynamic Drive system, electromechanically controlled active roll stabilization and anticipatory chassis control. The last one being especially clever, utilizing driving style analysis readings, data from the navigation system and a stereo camera are all computed by the car’s brain to regulate the best combination of chassis systems for each given drive.

The result of all that techno babble is an extremely comfortable ride that at the same time is able to be so very composed through plenty of fast curves. Big cars like this should not be able to handle like this and yet here we are pushing the throttle down deeper and earlier as we string together a number of high speed bends. So very naughty.

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Of course, joy in the 750Li comes not just for those seated up front. Passengers in the rear are extremely well taken care of with a full suite of features and functions all readily available and adjustable with a touch of the finger through the use of a removable tablet.

Rear seat passengers also have the option of enjoying movies with cinema sound. Refreshments can also be had with a fridge within easy reach just behind the arm rest. Life in the back has never been so good.

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While the price of entry into BMW’s flagship might seem a tad daunting, (our BMW 750Li Pure Excellence as tested, retails at $583,800), i propose another approach. What we have here is not just the local flagship BMW, what this essentially is, is a bargain Rolls Royce Ghost. The 750Li might cost almost 3 times less, but it is in no way half the car. The 750Li really is that good, but with the new (and very good looking) Porsche Panamera set to arrive, competition in the high performance limousine segment has never been more fierce.

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