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Discussion in 'Other Vehicles' started by Dr Obnxs, Oct 18, 2009.
Just wrote up my thoughts in the 760i. Sweet car, no need. Read about it on my blog.
Totally unnecessary car...until you drive one, that is.
Flogged the 750i (Sport) at the press intro in Feb. The thing is beastly and awesome in every sense of the term, and I went in completely prejudiced AGAINST everything 7-series. Satch wrote a great feature on the 760i. Flagships have nothing to do with necessity.
This is where a "what he said" smiley comes in handy
I sat in the back seat of a 7-series and prior to getting in I wasn't impressed much. Land yacht, whoopie!! Once my rear hit the seat though I found that I was sitting on a very plush couch with wheels. What really caught me off guard was the fact that my dad was sitting ahead of me in the passenger seat with it fully reclined and I still had about 8-10 inches of space from my knee to the back of his seat. Mind you, both of us are 6ft plus.
The numbers are gaudy: 500+ hp and torque and 18mpg. I figure if you're seriously considering a 7-series you're not concerned much about the last number.
I'm pretty let down by Matt's obvious lack of imagination - and for a physicist, no less.
Let's say I live in Germany, on the autobahn, 200km from my place of business. My three 6'5" tall brothers live and work with me, so all four of us choose to carpool to work to save the planet. We're consumed with the charity work we do in our spare time in our hometown, and want to maximize the amount of time we spend doing that, while also spending the requisite time required in the office. And two of my brothers are also diamond cutters, so they need to be able to do that in the back seat while I drive. And I have a second job giving people rides on the Nurburgring.
Voila. I need a 760i.
Really, Matt. "No one needs"... completely out of line.
Blimey...wrong, the 760i will find your two 6'5" brothers slightly cramped in the back seat. You need the 760iL.
I wanted so badly to hate driving the 750i. Just couldn't do it. It had the 4 wheel steering thing, the head up display, the electronically adjustable suspension - all made me giggle.
I imagine that driving the 760i is just another level of ridiculousness. Ridiculousness I wish I had.
Stepping out of the car after a joyous 7.5 hours of driving (through San Diego warmth as well as mountain SNOW), I had one thought left: that car is best experienced from the driver's seat, no matter how plush the rear seats are.
I stand corrected. Dr. O is right. Nobody needs a 760i.
No idea if these pics are still proprietary to Roundel, but I'd bet my MINI that they're never going to get used, so here goes nothing:
This was my beast for the test day (didn't know it long enough to give it a proper name):
I love that the car finally looks sporty again. I understand that this is a subjective statement.
I'm still struggling to like the styling of the 7s, otherwise the car is very impressive.
Did you like the previous generation?
To me, they nailed it with the E38. The E65 was horrid. This one is a huge step in the right direction. The car looks muscular in person and in darker colors.
What's the fun in buying a car you need? (not counting families with minivans, workers with work trucks, and students with small Japanese sedans)
The local Porsche dealership threw a swanky open house (open bar!) last week and parked a brand new Panamera Turbo on the showroom floor. It's similar to the 760i, and let me assure you, nobody needs that car, but there were plenty of people who wanted one. $158,000 sticker price, and it was bought that night. There is definitely a market for hyper-sedans, because for every 100,000 people who say it's larger than life, there's somebody willing to lay down the cash and feel larger than life. And also 6'5" German diamond cutters' brothers.
Another profession where it would come in handy.
Hulu - Saturday Night Live: Royal Deluxe II
Actually, if you stop to think about ALL of the cars out there that AREN'T needed, your brain starts to hurt after a while.
Turns out that most of the cars I wish to own one day could easily be dubbed "unnecessary." Hmm. Oh well!
What would cars look like if they were designed purely for function and not to appease our subjective eye and emotion? Me? I look at a car and say, "I need that." I don't sit down, review the technical documentation, and then decide. Guess that's why I have two cars, one of which was not even close to a "necessary" decision.
Fun to think about, though.
Like I said at the beginning of the post, I'm sure it's a very sweet ride. Maybe even a very, very sweet ride. It's just that so much of the cars potential will rarely, if ever be used.
I spend quite a while talking with someone heavily involved in the MB world about AMGs and the larger Mercedes cars. While we both thought the cars were totally impressive, he too thought that most of the cars would be sold based on badge envy, as opposed to the performance specs. he even thought that if the base cars were sold with the AMG body kit and badges, most owners would never be able to tell.
And yes, I agree with the notion that cars like this aren't about need at all.
I can also see why BMW did it. The engine was made for the new Rolls, the older BMW 12 banger isn't that clean and needs to go the way of the Dodo (and it will, no doubt about that). They have to compete with the AMG 63 cars so they stuff this engine into the 7 series.
But then, you also look at what BMW and other large car makers are facing: ever increasing emissions standards (Europe is ratcheting up the standards on things other than CO2, the US is ratcheting up the standards on CO2, even China is making some effort at fleet mileage targets), the costs of fuels are going to keep, on average, rising.
If you take any time rummaging around on the BMW press site, about every fourth article you read is about how green BMW is, and how good the EfficientDynamics efforts are for the world, how thier new engine plant is much more efficient, and the new paint booth technolgoy and on and on and on.
Then you have a car that's 4600+ lbs that goes 0-60 in under 5 seconds and spews CO2 at a prodigeous rate. There's something that's not in alignement here.
I just call them like I see them. I'm sure it's a great car to have for a day or longer, on someone elses dime. I'm also sure that the driving experience is really, really nice. I'm also sure that 90%+, maybe even 99%+ of 760 owners would be just as satisified with only 480 HP and 500 ft lbs of torque with all the geegaws and doo dads. Or maybe even less. That's why I say it's a car no one needs.
Driving the SL550 shows a car that is well balanced, with power that's more than adaqute for a GT cruiser, heck, it's even faster than many a car that is sold as a sports car. Yet it's the bottom of the line in the SL line up. And no, the top of the line cars too will be sold with tons of potential that will remain largely untapped.
While I'll grant its a nice car, I see the existance of things like this as a consiquence of market distortions. There isn't a car made where the owner pays the cost, including externalities, of driving. And that type of distorted market subsidy is what create opportunities for things like this to hit the market.
"Externalities".... don't get me started.
You can debate need and want all day long, 99.99% of what we buy far exceeds the needs. People that need a work-truck most of the time don't need more of a work truck than a Ford Ranger and the Geo Metro fit the driving needs of most people most of the time. My excuse, I need to be reminded I have a pulse still from time to time.
Previous generations were up and down but I'm still of the opinion that pre-Bangle BMW designs were much more classy. So the E38 is the car for me (if it has to be a 7) The 5 and 7 series just don't look quite right to me these days.
E39 5 series = perfect. E39 M5 = beyond perfect.
I get everything you said - point taken. And hey, we need disparate opinions and analysis, right? I don't resent your assessment; I just don't agree with it.
To me, there's something in a flagship. BMW started the 7 series flagship in '78 when it was the first car EVER with ABS and an OBC. At that point, I'm sure that technology was extraneous. In 88 they did it again and introduced Xenon lights to the automotive industry, as well as the first ASC. In 95 the 7 gave the world on-board navigation with moving maps, DSC, and head protection technology. Blah blah blah you get the idea and I'll spare you the rest of BMW's history. Fast forward to now and the new 7 introduces some more superfluous crap - but it does it because it's the flagship and the crap filters its way down to the rest of the lineup. The 760i is a symbol more than anything else. A MUCH better, more effective symbol than the X5-M and X6-M.
You want to call those abominations utter ridiculousness born of what equates to a penile competition with Merc. and Porsche, based on NO history, past practice, or brand recognition? Well then you'd be preaching to the choir!
Now that made me laugh!
live la difference!
Excellent point, Marc.
So.... what new "superfluous crap" is in the new 7 that we think will be in the low-end cars (e.g. MINIs) in 5-10 years? This should be fun to speculate about... :yesnod: