China makes the BMW 7 Series look better
Chinese automakers have a reputation for plagiarizing vehicle designs from around the world. Nothing secret. It is done outdoors and it’s blatant. From BYD S8 it’s a near a copy of the first generation Mercedes CLK to Dongfeng M18 it is almost identical to the Hummer H1, The brazenness of these looks is often shocking. The number of Chinese car companies has increased over the years and their designs have gotten a lot better. We have now reached the point where some Chinese vehicles look better than European ones, especially with the introduction of the new BMW 7. series.
The new set of 7 is ugly in my opinion. While my colleague Steve DaSilva think it looks goodI have a hard time looking at it.
Every part of the design is terrible. The signature kidney-shaped grills, which have become larger with every model, are huge. DRLs sit unnecessarily too high above the headlights, a trend lifted from the world of crossovers that don’t look good there and aren’t improved here. The sides of the body are almost completely flat, a land not inhabited by man.
An area where Steve agrees with me: The rear end is rough. The taillights look like they came from the front wheel driving the 2 Series Gran Coupe. And what happens to the blue border on the back of the i7? We get it! It is electricity. (The worst part is, the blue still has no problem with the outside color.)
In a sentence I never thought I would write, now you have to go to China to find a nice BMW 7 series. And you can find it in Hongqi H9.
H9 is the flagship of the Hongqi line. It’s even in the name: The top trim is called the Flagship 3.0T. Just look at it. Renal reticulum will not be strange on H9 – even BMW’s new, extra-large grille would fit here. It’s more like a BMW than an actual BMW. The headlights and DRLs are both in place, and Hongqi even has a strip of silver lettering running along the bottom edge of the doors, a style cue found on the current G11 and G12 7-series that BMW has ditched. with the new car model.
Unfortunately, that’s not all good news. While the front of the H9cia is better than the new 7th generation, there’s so much going on behind the scenes. The tail lights, which are already huge, are connected by a twin beam of light that runs across the width of the trunk. The side signatures are reminiscent of the Cadillac CT5, while the shape of the windows is reminiscent of Lexus.
The H9’s interior has a Kia K900 (or rather Bentley) vibe, with video-screen gauges reminiscent of what you’d find with Mercedes-Benz, and a full-width touchscreen not too far off the beaten track. what BMW just launched on the new 7 series.
As for powertrain, you’ll get a 48-volt mild-hybrid system paired with a base 2.0-liter with 240 hp or a turbocharged 3.0-liter with 283 hp. And it doesn’t come cheap, with fully loaded models going for close to $80,000.
Here you have it. If you find a BMW 7 2023 too much to see, make your way to China (or Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, or a few other countries where Hongqi sells its cars). I can’t say I would choose it over 7 to drive, but it’s easier on the eyes.