BMW 7: Bavaria goes after the S-class


New 7-sequence delivers driver luxurious, plus extra vim and vigor than ever earlier than

What’s it?

It’s the brand new 2016 BMW 740i and 750i; collectively the 7-collection, the corporate’s flagship luxurious sedan is now in its sixth era. BMW says the brand new automotive units benchmarks for weight financial savings, driving dynamics, consolation, clever connectivity and intuitive operation. “Trendy luxurious,” is how BMW officers put it.

Certainly, the modifications are many: Carbon-fiber-strengthened plastic is used within the passenger cell, and the automotive boasts excessive-tech gizmos galore, together with gesture management, wi-fi charging and an energetic kidney grille. BMW says it’s the primary automaker to mass produce a automobile utilizing CFRP with metal and aluminum.

The CFRP passenger cell reinforcements — the carbon is developed in Moses Lake, Wash., and intensive aluminum use (the doorways and trunk lid are aluminum, for instance) imply the brand new 7 is sort of 300 kilos lighter. BMW says the cell is derived from its i-sequence and that the 7 is the primary manufacturing automobile to bond carbon fiber with metal and aluminum.

General, the brand new 7 is 206.6 inches lengthy, about an inch longer than the outgoing mannequin, whereas width and peak stay largely unchanged. BMW says it’s the roomiest sedan it has ever created and solely the lengthy-wheelbase model is obtainable right here.

The outside, with its lengthy hood and quick overhangs, appears to be like very like the outgoing mannequin, however, in keeping with BMW, the modifications are many. For starters, the automotive is a bit curvier, the entrance finish bolder. That lively grille solely opens when below-hood and/or brake temps warmth up. BMW says this helps aero and makes the entrance finish look higher coupled with the broader low air consumption. The headlamps now prolong up so far as the grille, the hood is extra sculpted and taillights are LED.

Photo: 2016 BMW 7-series Photo 5

Rear-seat luxurious is the secret right here. Photograph by BMW


Like the outside, the brand new inside design is extra evolution than revolution. In different phrases, it’s nonetheless driver targeted however match and end and materials high quality is approach up. BMW design boss Karim Habib says the inside might be the automobile’s largest step ahead. The instrument cluster is configurable, altering the graphics and colour scheme relying on drive mode (Eco professional, consolation and sport). Main buttons and knobs are actually chrome, and there’s a selection of aluminum or wooden trim.

The iDrive system can now be managed through a touchscreen (with the power to pinch and develop to zoom out and in) or through the use of voice activation for the navigation system. Gesture management additionally arrives, utilizing three-D sensors to take hand actions within the heart console’s neighborhood and switch them into instructions. You may alter the stereo quantity and settle for or reject telephone calls with a flip, level or wave, respectively.

Reclining rear seats are an choice (hiya, China), and rear-seat passengers may also get a detachable Samsung pill to manage issues corresponding to seat adjustment, inside lighting and air-con, in addition to infotainment and nav. The pill also can play music and movies, and you should use it to surf the Web.

The non-compulsory Bowers & Wilkins Diamond encompass-sound system encompasses a 10-channel amp with an output of 1,four hundred watts and sixteen separate audio system, together with Kevlar-cone midrange drivers.

Photo: 2016 BMW 7-series Photo 14

BMW’s new-for-2016 7-sequence sedan will get a selection of engines coupled to an eight-velocity automated transmission. Photograph by BMW


The U.S. market solely will get 740i and 750i xDrive fashions. A four.four-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 445 hp and 480 lb-ft powers the 750i xDrive, whereas the 740i makes use of a 320-hp, turbocharged straight six. The six will get all-wheel drive later. Each engines are mated to a ZF eight-pace automated transmission. In a twist, the trans hyperlinks to the nav system, so gear choice is customized to the driving state of affairs and route, adjusting shifting traits accordingly.

A plug-in hybrid 7-sequence comes subsequent 12 months with a turbo underneath hood mated to an electrical motor. A lithium-ion battery is stowed below the again seat, chargeable through a wall socket, BMW’s i Wallbox or a public charging station. The eDrive button on the middle console permits the driving force to regulate the hybrid drive’s operation mode: In auto, the electrical drive gooses engine energy, whereas in MAX eDrive the automobile runs on electrical energy as much as seventy five mph for a most of 23 miles.

The brand new 2016 BMW 7-collection has air suspension mixed with a double wishbone entrance and 5-hyperlink rear. A number of suspension and brake items at the moment are aluminum as a substitute of metal and you’ll elevate experience peak zero.eight inch and it’s robotically lowered zero.four inch at cruising speeds in sport mode — there are additionally consolation and luxury-plus modes. 4-wheel steering (BMW calls it Integral Lively Steering) is offered on each rear- and all-wheel drive. BMW guarantees the self-leveling suspension makes the brand new 7’s experience/dealing with combine very good. An energetic chassis management BMW calls Lively Consolation Drive with Highway Preview is non-obligatory and hyperlinks with the nav system to learn the street forward and modify the suspension accordingly.

An M Sport package deal provides an aero equipment and lighter wheels (19- or 20-inch).

There’s tons of different tools, together with a brand new model of the elective parking help (it maneuvers into each parallel and perpendicular parking spots and may pull the automobile into/out of an area remotely); rear cross-site visitors warning; frontal-collision warning; pedestrian warning; energetic blind-spot detection; lane-departure warning; and so forth. All U.S. automobiles have a panoramic moon roof customary.

Photo: 2016 BMW 7-series Photo 6

Dealing with on this giant sedan is best than it has any proper to be, significantly with the accessible all-wheel steering. Photograph by BMW


What’s it wish to drive?

The six cylinder supplies all of the oomph most clients want, although we do favor the V8; it brings the automotive to 60 mph in four.three seconds and delivers the 480 lb-ft easily and silently. It additionally labored brilliantly with the eight-pace.

The decrease middle of gravity, weight financial savings and new chassis and suspension mix with optionally available energetic steering (turning the rear wheels in the identical or wrong way because the fronts relying on pace) to assist the automotive really feel extra maneuverable round city and composed at freeway speeds. The trip and physique management are glorious in all of the modes — the automotive arcs by way of corners and thunders down straights like a smaller automotive. The automobile merely has extra vim and vigor than a 7 ever had.

Dropping unsprung weight 15 p.c helps right here too — the large fella simply glides over highway imperfections and the like. As we mentioned once we drove the prototype, “though not precisely the legendary M7 fanboys covet, the 7-collection did issues a luxurious automobile shouldn’t be able to when pushed in anger. Stability, steering response and physique management are the perfect we’ve ever skilled on a full-dimension Autobahn bruiser.”

Now that now we have pushed the manufacturing automobile we stand by that assertion.

Photo: 2016 BMW 7-series Photo 17

Evolution, not revolution. Picture by BMW


Do I would like one?

Properly, you might definitely do worse. The brand new BMW 7-collection arrives this fall, priced from $eighty one,300 to $ninety four,four hundred. In fact, the $ninety,000 query is, how does it evaluate to Mercedes Benz’s S-class? That reply should wait till we drive the 2 aspect by facet. For now, we are able to say the 7-sequence may be the perfect driver’s luxurious automobile available on the market.


Wes Raynal

Wes Raynal

– Wes Raynal joined Crain Communications’ circulation division whereas nonetheless in school. When he graduated in 1986, he turned a reporter for Autoweek sister publication Automotive Information. He has labored as Autoweek’s affiliate editor, information editor, motorsports editor and govt editor earlier than being named editor in 2009. Read more »

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