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THERE are bells and whistles and then there are mind-blowing bells and whistles. Most people will agree that the BMW 750Li has the latter variety. The top-of-the-range 7 Series here, the 750Li, is a long-wheelbase limousine with a 4.4-litre twin turbo V8, full air suspension and Integral Active Steering, a four-wheel steering system with speed-sensitive assistance that "shortens" the 5,238 mm long sedan and makes it surprisingly nimble.
On the outside, it is immediately recognisable for its Laserlight headlamps - the first BMW model to feature them as standard. Its laser high beam has a range more than twice that of LED to replicate normal visibility in daylight.
Inside, the luxurious cabin is filled with gadgets and more screens than a cineplex.
There is the centre 10.25-inch navigation touchscreen that incorporates gesture control; a removable seven-inch tablet in the rear centre armrest for the air-con, media and seat massage functions but also the lights, windows and double glass roofs; and the chauffeur package's pair of entertainment displays at the back of the front seats. The driver's instrument cluster itself is one big configurable digital display.
Other makes may offer these features too, but the BMW 750Li goes at least one step further. Take the speed limit and digital speedometer images in the head-up display. If the 750Li's speed exceeds the prevailing limit, the digital reading changes colour from white to orange.
Or the climate control. Even a mass market Japanese model these days gets thermostat, blower and "auto" settings with dual zone air-con. But in the 750Li's four-zone system, there are also electronic sliders for temperature stratification to adjust the proportion of warm and cool air flowing out of each air vent. Sound superfluous? Probably not, if you can afford the 750Li. And for this group of owners, there is something truly unique that only the BMW 7 Series can offer - Remote Control Parking.
BMW is the first carmaker to offer this feature, which allows the driver to step out of the car and park it using the BMW display key. Or start the engine from outside the car and unpark it.
Not only is this ideal when faced with a tight parking space and a super party trick. It is also safer than it sounds.
Parking sensors on steroids monitor the entire process, straightening and centring the 750Li when needed, and instantly activating the brakes when someone steps into its path. The driver can also stop the car when one or both the fingers required to operate the car are released from the key's side button and display screen.
Standard on the 750Li, Remote Control Parking is a S$2,000 option on other 7 Series variants.
All this technology is exceptional but to top it all off is a removable cooler box. Two bottles can be accessed through the hatch in the rear seat back, or the entire cooler can be detached from the boot for that perfectly chilled glass of wine or cold pressed juice at the beach or hawker centre. Among the BMW 750Li's bells and whistles, this is literally the coolest.
BMW 750Li Design Pure Excellence
Engine: 4,395cc V8 turbocharged
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic transmission
Max power: 450 hp @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
Max torque: 650 Nm @ 1,800-4,500 rpm
0-100 kmh: 4.7 secs
Top speed: 250 kmh
CO2 emissions: 197 g/km
Average OMV: S$108,000
Price: S$583,800 (with COE)
Distributor: Performance Motors