With the launch of the next-gen BMW 7 Series at the Auto Expo 2016, there is some competition for the Mercedes S-Class in the luxury sedan segment. There are a couple more in the segment like the Audi A8 L and the Jaguar XF. However, these two have seen a major overhaul recently and it is only fair to pit them against each other in a spec comparison.
Both BMW and Mercedes offer the extended wheelbase versions of their respective flagship sedans in India. The 7 Series and the S-Class sold in India are over 5.2 metres in length, which makes them longer than most premium SUV and sedans. The S-Class is marginally longer and taller of the two, while the BMW 7 Series is wider. Both the cars come with four-seater or five-seater option with either the waterfall console at the back with two bucket seats or the folding armrest that can accommodate the third passenger at the back.
The dimensions don’t really play much of role, in terms of space. Both are large, offering plenty of room in the cabin and also in the boot.
One of the most important aspects of this segment is the features list, and both have plenty to offer. There are exclusive alloy wheels, multiple exterior and interior colour options, reclining and massaging seats, individual display screens and infotainments systems for rear and loads of electronics and safety.
The noteworthy features in the S-Class are the ambient lights, 16-speaker Burmester music system and the all-LED instrument console at the front. BMW offers similar spec system with a Bowers and Wilkens system and probably has a one up on the Mercedes with the first in segment Laser light headlamp console. Also, while Mercedes does have an option to customise the S-Class, BMW has included a variant in the line-up with a base CBU price that can be built to order before importing from Germany.
BMW India is offering two engine options with the 7 Series. The 3.0-litre diesel V6 engine putting out 262bhp and 620Nm alongside the 4.4-litre V8 petrol pumping 450bhp and 650Nm. Both use the eight-speed ZF gearbox powering the rear wheels. The diesel engine is available with the car assembled in India while the 750Li petrol is imported.
The S-Class, on the other hand, has a much bigger engine option list. It has the mandatory V6 diesel churning out 255bhp and 600Nm in the S350. Along with that there are two petrol engine options – the S500 V8 sends 459bhp and 700Nm while the larger 5.5-litre turbocharged V8 of the S63 AMG delivers massive 577bhp and 900Nm of torque. For those looking at an even bigger engine option – Mercedes offers the V12 with the Maybach edition with rating of 530bhp and 830Nm. Apart from the AMG, which is imported, rest of the versions are assembled in India, at the Pune facility.
The BMW 7 Series undercuts the S-Class by Rs 3 lakh, with the starting price of Rs 1.11 crore. There are multiple options as well in the diesel BMW 7 Series lineup. The petrol Mercedes S500 on the other hand is CKD and has a lower sticker price of Rs 1.44 crore, against Rs 1.50 crore of the 750Li.