BMWs and inline-six gas engines go together as well as butter on toast. Over the past couple of years, it hasn't been the case for BMW models sold in the Philippines. That brings us neatly to the 2021 BMW 7 Series.
Take a guess what engines will power the Philippine-spec models. If you said turbodiesel or turbo gas inline-sixes, you'd be wrong. It's neither of those, but we're not complaining.
For the 2021 model year, the two engines that will power the 7 Series are a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo-gas engine, and a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder turbo plug-in hybrid.
It's the 730i that comes with the turbo-four and, for some, it sounds sacrilegious to put a four-cylinder in a car as big as the 7 Series. The engine may be small but it does have the goods to propel this two-ton luxury liner on wheels. The 730i shares the same engine as the 330i, so it's good for 265 PS and 400 Nm of torque. That puts it about on par with the V8-powered 740i from the '90s. So while the new engine is half the size of the old ones, it packs the same punch.
If you want more power though, you'll have to go for the 745Le plug-in hybrid. Its 3.0-liter turbo inline-six makes 286 PS and 450 Nm of torque, but that's not the end of the story. The electric motor that helps the engine makes 83 kw (113 PS) and 265 Nm of torque. With a combined output of 394 PS and 600 Nm of torque, the 745Le can get to 100 km/h from a standstill in just 5.1 seconds.
Despite having that much power, BMW claims the 745Le can still return up to 35.7 kilometers per liter in mixed driving conditions. You can even extend its fuel range by activating pure electric more. It allows you to drive the 7 Series without the use of the engine for up to 46 kilometers.
Each 745Le purchase will come with two chargers complimentary, a slow charger which can charge the batteries in 8 hours that plugs into a regular 220V outlet, and a wall box charger that can charge within 3 hours.
There's no doubt that the 2021 7 Series is a technological tour-de-force. It has the most advanced iDrive infotainment software to date, massive display screens, dual-axle suspension, soft-close doors, and even a remote parking system in the 745Le.
So how much for all this power, tech, and luxury? The 730i Pure Excellence (standard wheelbase only) starts at Php 5,990,000 while the 745Le Pure Excellence (extended wheelbase only) retails for 9,590,000.