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Car and Driver: BMW Unveils Fancypants 7-series Solitaire and Master Class Editions


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Money can’t buy good taste, a truism that was confirmed yet again for this writer at the New York auto show, where dealers thought it was a good idea to fit a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe with whitewall tires. BMW doesn’t go that far, but the Solitaire and Master Class derivatives of the latest 7-series prove that the company is willing to stretch the boundaries to please some of the more extravagant tastes of its customers. While just one “Master Class Edition” will be built, the “Solitaire Edition” will get a run of six units. Go figure.

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There are two colors mixed specifically for these models: Black Gold for the “Master Class” and Solitaire White. “Solitaire” badges on the C-pillars and a decorative strip on the rear adorn all seven cars. All examples are based on the long-wheelbase 750i xDrive; that means a 445-hp, twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that sends its torque to all wheels through a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic.

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The most important ingredient of these special editions is the ultra-luxurious interior, designed to provide an experience well beyond that of the regular 7-series. The interior is clad in microsuede and top-grade leather, while the regular carpeting is replaced by lambswool. There is a minibar with champagne flutes, and leather-clad Kleenex holders are located in the doors. The rear passengers get to cuddle up to pillows that match the pattern on the seats, as well as stare at a silver-plated plaque in the center console.

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These details are topped by five diamonds optionally applied to the décor strips on the dashboard and in the doors—”the highlight of the editions,” as the press release gushes. The cars were planned and executed under the tutelage of Frank van Meel and BMW M GmbH, of which in-house customizer BMW Individual is a subsidiary. We can think of only one thing that could cap the ensemble of pillows, diamonds, and tissue holders: A nice set of whitewall tires.

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