2009 BMW 7 Series Long Term Road Test


2009 BMW 750i: We Go to Alice's Restaurant

March 30, 2010

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Another exercise in distance driving and found myself again with the BMW 750i in my driveway with about 1000 miles over the weekend in front of me. You can't help but look at the thing and wonder if there's too much car here to have much fun, all 199.8 inches of it from tip to tail and 4,599 pounds.

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Then you throw the roller, the laptop, and the helmet bag into the trunk and you realize there's some benefit to be found in 14.0 cubic feet of trunk volume.

Pound up Interstate 5, skipping over the crests of the overused concrete slaps, and then you're happy to have 120.9 inches of wheelbase to sting the sting out of the concrete chop. Plus you instinctively reach for the switch on the center console to get the comfort calibration for the chassis setup, something that no longer seems an indulgence just for wimps.

Cross over the Coast Range on California Highway 198, the secret fun zone on the way to Monterey (unless the CHP is lurking in Priest Valley), and as you hit the narrow earthquake fault along Warthan Creek on the other side of Coalinga, you wonder again if this car is just too big for a road that is really meant for a Lotus Elise. The adjustable chassis calibration is your friend again, but the secret here is the optional active anti-roll bars, which seem to give you a more natural control of the body than the Mercedes system, which relies on the dampers to do the work.

Drive a bunch of cars at the WAJ track event at Laguna Seca. When someone wants a ride to the airport, there the BMW 750i waits.

On to the Bay Area and then a Saturday breakfast run to Alice's Restaurant, a roadhouse on Skyline Boulevard above Woodside since the 1950s and now morphed into an eating place for motorcycle guys. The BMW is carrying a major load of insect carcasses on the grille by now, but this is the right look for Alice's, where you want to look like you get out more often than just weekends.

Then later that day to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds for an old motorcycle show and a night of indoor flattrack, plus Ray Abrams gives us a walkaround of the Kenny Roberts' TZ750-powered dirt-track bike that he restored for KR's ride at the Indy Mile last summer.

And finally a trip home on Interstate 5, running a gauntlet of CHP patrol cars, as traffic enforcement was tight at the beginning of Easter week.

Altogether a bunch of places with no special lessons learned, yet there wasn't one aspect of the trip at which the BMW 7 Series performed with less than spectacular competence.

Proving once again that a true luxury car is able to go anywhere, anytime.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 28,886 miles.

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