BMW infuses 7 Series with the Ellerman House experience

By JAY WONG | 25 November 2020

CAPE TOWN: BMW has infused one its flagship 7 Series with a unique experience garnered from luxury boutique hotel Ellerman House in Cape Town, South Africa.

The hotel is well known for its luxurious hospitality coupled with a spectacular view of the Atlantic coast from Bantry Bay.

With 13 bedrooms and two private villas, the more than a century-old hotel - located about 25km away from Cape Town airport, also showcases an impressive collection of contemporary South African artwork thanks to owner Paul Harris.

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The German carmaker made an attempt to capture the experience offered by the establishment in its 745Le xDrive luxury sedan with highly individualised accoutrements which now serves as the hotel's chauffeur car.

Designed by BMW Individual in collaboration with the South African artist and botanical sculptor Nic Bladen, this 7 Series also acts as an artistic homage to the unique flora and fauna found around Cape Town by casting them in precious metals used for the interior.

The new official car for guest transfers for the hotel shows off BMW Individual Manufaktur’s abilities to design something bespoke for future owners.

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The paint finish of this 7 Series is in an exclusive Brass and is combined with the extended BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line. The brass-coloured door sills bear the "Ellerman House” lettering.

Other fixtures and fitments include 20-inch M lightweight alloys in star spoke design with a bicolour finish and an M sports package.

Inside, the cabin uses "zee" German carmaker's Pure Excellence interior design and BMW Individual's Merino full leather upholstery in a combination of Tartufo and Cognac colours.

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Additionally, the 745Le has fitted with the powered sun blinds, the Sky Lounge panoramic glass roof, Ambient Light, Ambient Air Package as well as rear powered seats with massage function, heating and ventilation.

The door panelling frame, the instrument panel, Alcantara roof liner, floor trim and the leather-covered door entry trim are all designed in Tartufo, as are the panels of the seats - including the A and B pillars.

The headrests and comfort cushions in the same colour are embroidered with an exclusive floral design.

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The embroidery on the cushions also includes the "EH" signet on the front and the "BMW Individual Manufaktur" lettering on the back.

The centre console, cover of the centre tunnel and the switch panels located there are covered with cognac-coloured leather.

The colour scheme also includes tone-in-tone seams and draws attention to the interior trim strips, which have been refined into unique works of art.

South African artist Nic Bladen used plaster casts and liquid gold, silver or platinum, he creates detailed sculptures of leaves, flowers, roots and twigs, modelled on wild plants.

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For the art project conceived by BMW and Ellerman House, he developed a special process in which he transferred the replicas of plants cast in precious metal into a two-dimensional form that was as flat as possible.

Gradually, an extensive collection of precious prints of the selected motifs from nature was created, similar to a herbarium as botanists use for documenting and identifying plants by means of dried and pressed flowers and leaves before these filigree works of art were embedded as inlays in the interior trim strips of the vehicle.

Bladen found his motifs for refining the interior of the luxury sedan in the Fynbos region around Cape Town, which is known for its unique biodiversity. Many of the shrubs, trees, grasses and flowers that are exclusively indigenous to the area are now threatened by extinction.

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Among the well-known natural treasures of the Fynbos landscape are the rooibos, from whose cultivated version an internationally popular tea is made, and the protea plants, also known as sugar bushes or silver trees, whose round, often plate-sized flowers represent the heraldic flower of South Africa.

With his latest works of art, Nic Bladen aims to raise awareness for the fascinating plant diversity of the Cape region.

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His wish: guests of Ellerman House, who admire the interior trim strips designed by him while driving in the BMW 745Le xDrive, should later recognise the plants immortalised there in the wild, in order to remember not only the luxurious driving experience but also the diverse vegetation of South Africa, which is so worth protecting.

The creation of the new chauffeur car by BMW Individual Manufaktur was documented in a video clip series well worth seeing. The clips are available on Youtube using the search term #BMWxEllermanHouse.

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