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Different cars have different functions. A Bentley Continental GT should be the ultimate continental cruiser and a Tesla Model S is supposed to fool the world that you care for the environment. The BMW 750Li – L being short for long (irony not intended) – has the purpose of acting like a private jet for the road. This means getting from point A to point B in the absence of plebeian judgments and conserving a sense of isolation comparable to that of North Korea. It is tailored to please the members of society who find public transport to be despicable yet prefer the backseat to actually driving the car themselves, hence the extra legroom. The 750Li is equipped with a 450 horse power V8 shooting it from 0 to 62 in 4.5 seconds, almost instantly reaching its top speed of 155 mph. This makes it highly relevant in the US where large engines are customary as well as Germany where speed prevails. There is no doubt that this car will put a smile on the face of whatever monarch, despot or the like who chooses to make themselves snug in the backseat. This raises the most important question however: how comfortable is it? Let’s shift into High Velocity and find out.
As was clarified above, L stands for long. This in turn implies more legroom which in the 750Li you’ll find to be commodious enough for bowling. BMW calls it “Executive Lounge” which in simpler terms translates to “backseat package”. This connotes fully-fledged comfort in the form of backseats furnished with headrests that would give Casper mattresses a run for their money, in addition you get the option to fold down the passenger seat, giving you access to an emerged footrest. The car we tested provided two monitors in the back, massaging chairs, a fragrance system, a foldable counter and a magnificent sound system (at the price of $4800 USD) on par with the Sydney Opera House. There is a significant concern when it comes to the 7-series however and that is the seeming need to hire a doctorate of computer science in order to access even half of its functions. Even attempting to write about them would transform this into a dissertation which is something I’d rather like to avoid. BMW even implore its 7-series buyers to visit them from time to time on order to fully learn how to operate it.
The method we would adopt to maximize our evaluation of the car’s comfort was to spend a full 24 hours in it. Bathroom breaks and filling it up with gas were the only instances in which we were allowed to leave it. By the end of the week I ended up having spent 60 hours in the driver’s seat, driving it approximately 1550 miles. This was of course achieved in proper attire, a well-tailored suit. The days leading up to our 24 hour journey had been spent running errands and driving to and from my vacation home, summing up to 12 hours the day just prior and then 30 hours throughout the rest of the week. This made me realize just how calming travelling is in the BMW 750Li. It wouldn’t surprise me if the backseat of a 7-series can cure ADHD. It’s a car that truly motivates you, motivates you to do really well in life.
10:00 pm was the hour at which we had decided the test should start. The plan was for us to be able to fall asleep almost immediately. During these 24 hours it was scheduled for me and a friend to last the entire venture whilst two of my colleagues made appearances for 13 and 6 hours respectively. After having amply supplied ourselves (provisions included hamburgers from one of Stockholm’s finer establishments) we set off. The first destination was the hometown of one of my colleagues. During this voyage we attempted to, as graciously as possible, consume our hamburgers in the backseat without spilling any on our ties. With the air suspension set to Comfort Plus (one of two comfort modes) and the help of half a rainforest in the form of napkins, there was never even the slightest risk of spillage. Once arrived at our destination me and my friend switched places with my colleague who had chauffeured us. We then made our way to a local gas station, now with our fourth member tucked safely in the backseat. Upon arrival we found ourselves confronted by the police who probably assumed us to be a gang of Corleones. Once clarified that we were in fact not a band of mafia bosses we moved swiftly onward.
The initial idea was to make our way to Norway but considering one of us had to be in Stockholm by 12:00 pm the next day that plan somewhat fell apart seeing as we weren’t willing lose our driver’s licenses (unfortunately you can’t force your employees to implicate themselves in crimes). Thus we decided to sail forth in the northwestern direction, toward a Swedish metropolis many car lovers may be familiar with, namely Trollhättan. Once being the home of SAAB it felt only relevant that we pay our respects to automobile history on our epic quest for comfort. The ride there saw most of its time filled with snoring colleagues and some harmless competition between me and my friend, more specifically a friendly game of car Botticelli (one person thinks of a car and the other has to guess what brand, model and engine it has by continuously asking questions). After our respects had been paid we quickly perused a local island and saw it as an opportune time for some photography. Once the photo shoot had ended we made our way to a neighboring town in which we swapped places, me and my friend now making our return to the backseat. It was around 04:00 am at this point and only seconds after taking my seat I passed out faster than one would after being at the receiving end of a Mike Tyson one punch knockout. Only moments later I would wake from my deep slumber, not due to being sufficiently rested, but because one of my colleagues decided it was an apt time to assess the dynamic capacities of a 17 foot BMW. Not an ideal environment for sleep as you could imagine, despite being cradled by first class comfort.
By 06:00 am it was time for gas, and again we made our driver swap in which I took to the ship’s wheel. A most fitting metaphor considering the car sails across the roads as if on water. An hour had passed and the crew came to the consensus that it was a suitable time for breakfast, so we made our way to a close by, rather flourished Swedish county in which we seized the opportunity to get some photographing done. After satisfying our stomachs it was time to return to the hometown of my colleague that we had picked up in the beginning of our adventure, leaving 10 hours behind us and 14 more to go. On our way back to the capital I delegated the chauffeuring to my friend after realizing how the comfort of the BMW stays consistent, regardless of the speed. I took to the passenger comforts and along with my colleague sought to get some work done. One thing that becomes instantly apparent is that one’s productivity would probably rise by a magnitude of a thousand with consistent access to both a backseat car and a driver.
The big city drew ever closer and by 11:00 am we had reached Stockholm in time to drop off my colleague. Once parted, after being gifted sandwiches, I flung myself in the backseat and pondered on what was to be next on our itinerary. After all there were 11 hours remaining. Eventually we decided to steer south again, this time allowing proper sleep for the two of us who were left on the journey. I was the first to repose, reaching sleep rivaling Snow White’s, and awakened some time thereafter with vigor and in need of a lavatory. The closest option was a McDonalds located in a town known for its honor. Honor in this case referring that which is said to exist among thieves. My friend was forced to park illegally given the emergency as I made my sprint toward the toilet. To claim that the sight of a young man, clad in a suit, making his way out of the backseat of a 750Li causes attention would be the understatement of the year. Barack Obama during a national address probably felt less espied than I did. To my pleasant surprise I was greeted by a gentleman who insisted to hold up the door for me as I entered. After my unpleasant visit to the latrine we departed, now me in the driver’s seat and my friend well deserved in the backseat.
At approximately 1:00 pm we arrived at our destination slightly south of Stockholm but given the fact that my friend lay seemingly without life I went for some short-lived sightseeing then took us in the northern direction back up toward Stockholm. Upon arrival we ended up meandering about the streets, giving friends and family a taste of the BMWs comfort. We swiftly descried a recurring sentiment, “this is the perfect road trip car”, which felt very apropos considering the past 15 hours. At 5:00pm we found ourselves heading north giving our mutual friend a lift which we saw as a great opportunity to amass some more photos. After this good deed we saw it fit to return back to Stockholm and employ a family member for some much needed food delivery. While back in the capital we saw it befitting to test the cars capabilities in the environment it will most likely be used, namely the city.
Despite costing you more than a house, the BMW 750Li emits discretion. It slithers past the judging gazes of passing pedestrians and only garners their attention once they realize the presence of a young scoundrel in the backseat. As an experiment we drove up to Stockholm’s most iconic luxury establishment, the Grand Hôtel, and at the first sight of our slow cruise toward the entrance the valet attentively awaited our arrival and once parked opened both the trunk and the backdoor. Obviously he assumed that my friend in the backseat had a reservation which says a lot about the implications of being driven around in a 750Li, unfortunately he didn’t and we contented with a brief skim of their menu. By 9:45 pm we decided it was time to withdraw to the stable. The second my watch hit 10:00 pm we exited the car and my friend drove off in his Honda Civic Type R and I rushed home longing for my bed. They say there’s no place like home but the backseat of a BMW 750Li sure comes close.
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