BMW 7 - Unbangled

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OK, its predecessor shocked a few people. Although the design idea for the boot lid wasn't all that bad, at least I've never heard an unkind word about the tail of the 6 series. Perhaps we're all a bit conservative when it comes to the so-called luxury class. I like the fact that BMW had the courage to do something different and to stand out from the rest. Better than just building mainstream cars for ever more. Especially as the provocative looks had little influence on its success.

The last BMW 7 was the most successful 7 series of all times. But it's all change for the new one. No shock effect for the rear and no lachrymal sacs any more - also passé. Where was Mr Bangle when the design for the new flagship was signed off? On a comfort break? Perhaps that is a little unkind. The new 7 looks much more debonair all round. The overall design is dominated by the elongated silhouette and monster-sized kidney at the front. It was clear that BMW needed to come up with an answer to Audi's penchant for bigger and bigger single-frame grilles.

The eyelids over the familiar light rings in the headlamps are to be understood as a new BMW design element - wicked looking and their answer to Audi's LED light strings.

Style and elegance such as we last saw in a Jaguar XJ have apparently become an alien concept. It seems the biggest show-off takes all the prizes nowadays. We just have to hope that German car manufacturers don't reflect the national mentality.