After spending a good amount of time recently in our Four Seasons 135i and X5, it's interesting to take a step up the BMW luxury ladder and a step back in time when entering the 760Li. This was the car that first received much of the technology that has trickled down to the rest of the Bavarian family, including the silky-smooth ZF six-speed automatic and, of course, iDrive. The next-generation 7 will improve on those two items (and undoubtedly add countless more) with an updated iDrive system and a new eight-speed ZF transmission handling the power.
Speaking of which, the 760Li's 6.0-liter V-12 has plenty of it. Power delivery is so smooth that it hardly seems you're moving quickly; I had to check the 0-to-60-mph time this morning (5.5 seconds) to make sure for myself.
The interior of this BMW Individual 7-series really caught my eye. The dark grey Alcantara headliner is balanced well by the two-tone leather elsewhere in the cabin. The center stack includes what looks like a mini armoire with two small drawers faced in gorgeous wood. I also liked the look of the wood-trimmed shelf behind the rear seats.
As for the front thrones, I think the power driver's seat is possibly too adjustable, though I love that the headrest moves fore and aft in addition to up and down. I also found the massage feature intriguing, as it works on the seat cushion and rocks you side to side in contrast to the lower back massage administered by Mercedes seats.
Considering this 7-series was launched way back in 2002, the biggest Bimmer has aged well, but aged nonetheless. I am eagerly awaiting the 2008 Paris show when we'll find out what new tech goodies will be filtering down through the BMW lineup over the next six years.
David Gluckman, Web Producer