BMW's large 7 Series sedans—first introduced in the late 1970s—had never caused much controversy. That all changed, however, when the Bavarian automaker unveiled a new design for 2001. Bulbous rear-end styling by American design chief Chris Bangle drew particular criticism, as did an overcomplicated iDrive system that used a single dial to control climate, audio and other functions. Neither prevented the 7 Series from selling well.
A 2008 redesign smoothed the big sedan's bulging trunk lid, and BMW brought back the range-topping 760Li for 2009. With a twin-turbocharged V12 that currently produces 535 horsepower, it can charge to 60 mph in well under five seconds.