The 2009 BMW 730Ld officially hit European dealer lots this week and became not only the largest, most prestigious 7 Series to sit in the BMW stable, but also the first full-size BMW saloon to feature a track-bred double-wishbone suspension. Intended specifically for use as a chauffeured vehicle, the BMW 730Ld features an extra 14 cm (5.5 in) of legroom for rear occupants as well as an extensive list of rear-seat entertainment options. Powered by an all-aluminum 3.0L straight-6, the 730Ld is capable of producing 245 horsepower and 398 lb-ft (540 Nm) of torque. Top speed is electronically limited to 152 mph, and despite its claim to fame as the largest sedan in the BMW line-up, the 2009 730Ld is capable of sprinting from 0-62 mph in a mere 7.3 seconds. Despite both its power and its size, the 730Ld also boasts some fairly impressive fuel-efficiency numbers, averaging an estimated 38.7 mpg and producing a minimal 194g/km of tailpipe emissions.
Unfortunately the 730Ld is an UK-exclusive Bimmer, but if the $80,960 (£56,790) price tag doesn’t make you sweat, and you don’t mind bribing a few pesky customs officials, the 730Ld might be the perfect grey-market vehicle for you.
The new BMW 730Ld
One of the most important derivatives of the BMW 7 Series has gone on sale. The long-wheelbase BMW 730Ld is the latest addition to the marque’s flagship model range and is a welcome introduction for chauffeurs and business users. Priced at £56,790 OTR, the BMW 730Ld offers an additional 14cms of legroom for rear seat passengers and a wealth of optional enhancements aimed at cocooning occupants in a hi-tech, luxurious environment.
Model / Price OTR / Power Hp / Torque Nm / 0-62mph Seconds / Top Speed Mph / Combined Mpg / CO2 Emissions g/km
BMW 730d / £53,730 / 245 / 540 / 7.2 / 153 / 39.2 / 192
BMW 730Ld / £56,790 / 245 / 540 / 7.3 / 153 / 38.7 / 194
The latest BMW 730Ld builds on the standard-wheelbase specification with self-levelling rear suspension, chrome rain channels in the roof, illuminated interior rear vanity mirrors and an electrically-powered sunblind for the rear window.
This long-wheelbase specification can be enhanced with optional multi-adjustable Comfort Seats for both front and rear seat passengers. This is complemented by individually heated and air-conditioned seats that can also be fitted, in the rear, with a massaging capability. Two levels of rear entertainment package completes the initial bespoke passenger experience. The BMW Business package comprises twin adjustable 8-inch flat screen monitors with a remote control. The system is flexible enough to permit two different programmes, DVDS or MP3 devices and games consoles to be played or viewed at the same time. The higher specification BMW Professional system comes with 9-inch twin flat adjustable monitor screens, twin wireless headphones and is operated by an iDrive controller in the rear armrest.
The new BMW 730Ld is powered by an all-aluminium 2,993cc straight-six cylinder diesel engine that produces 245hp at 4,000rpm. A peak torque figure of 540Nm is attained from 1,750rpm through to 3,000rpm and this results in a zero to 62mph time of 7.3 seconds and a 153mph top speed. Its 194g/km emission figure is class-leading for conventionally powered luxury cars, as is its 38.7mpg combined consumption figure. The BMW 730Ld comes with a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
Every modern BMW uses EfficientDynamics technologies as standard to maximise economy and emissions figures, while also improving output and engine performance for a greater driving experience. The BMW 7 Series features Brake Energy Regeneration that uses the engine’s power on overrun, such as braking, to charge the battery for the car’s electrical system. Other ancillaries, such as the air-conditioning compressor, are also able to disengage to improve the all round performance of the car.
Chassis refined for rear seat comfort
The BMW 7 Series is the first BMW saloon to feature race car-like double-wishbone front suspension. This arrangement allows engineers to fine-tune the suspension for the best kinematic configuration. The standard wheelbase BMW 7 Series comes with a rear suspension consisting of a five-link arrangement made of aluminium. However, for the long-wheelbase vehicle the emphasis is even more biased on comfort so a self-levelling rear suspension is fitted as standard.
Drive Dynamic Control featuring Variable Damping Control comes as standard on the new BMW 730Ld. Drive Dynamic Control is the umbrella function that lets a driver customise the characteristics of his or her car. Variable Damping Control can bet set in comfort, normal, sport and sport + modes. For the first time though these settings are infinitely variable depending on driving style and road surface condition. The selected mode now alters the throttle response, gear change speed and steering feel. The BMW 7 Series also marks the first time the dampers of a BMW feature compression and rebound damping capability for enhanced ride quality.
The BMW 7 Series comes as standard with Dynamic Stability Control + featuring additional functions such as Hill-Start Assistant, Brake Drying, Brake Pre-tensioning, Soft-stop and Brake Fade Compensation. Dynamic Traction Control can be activated via a button to enable spirited driving or greater traction on slippery surfaces such as snow and ice.
The BMW 730d and 730Ld are predicted to account for 85 per cent of all 7 Series sales in the UK during a full year. A long-wheelbase version of a diesel-powered 7 Series was first introduced in September 2005 following a high level of interest from chauffeurs and business users.