BMW 7 Series Gets the ‘Executive Refinement & Thrills’ Treatment
BMW’s executive flagship gets big upgraded in exterior and interior design as well as a host of engine options.
Now that the furor over the huge kidney grill on the front has died down, we can finally get to the meat of BMW’s new 7-Series as it goes on sale in Europe. As before, the executive sedan comes in two lengths with the long wheelbase option giving an extra 14 centimeters between its axles. The headlines start with the range of engines spanning 6, 8, and 12 cylinders and attached to an improved 8-speed Steptronic transmission. BMW also tells us that the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system has also been improved and can be combined with all engines, including the hybrid drive system.
The M760Li xDrive gets a Sport+ mode that brings track gearing and undamped but linear throttle response. The top of the line M760Li xDrive with the 6.6-liter V12 brings with it a Comfort+ mode to give an even more cushy and relaxing ride for the driver and passengers. The 750i xDrive gets an upgrade with a 4.4-liter V8 and 530 horsepower, which is an 80 horsepower bump over the previous model. The eDrive models come with an inline-6 engine along with an improved battery system and a power bump resulting in 394 horsepower combined in Sport mode.
Inside, new owners will enjoy the ride on all models through the adaptive air suspension that’s modes can be controlled by the Driving Experience Control switch. The Integral Active Steering system that changes the amount of input required depending on speed and situation is optional, as is what BMW calls the Executive Drive Pro chassis system. The active chassis control is claimed to improved both comfort and performance by controlling chassis roll depending on what the driver wants.
Standard equipment includes the usual BMW 7-Series goodies such as 18-inch alloy wheels, a Harman Kardon sound system, and wireless phone charging. A new screen grouping is where you’ll find Connected Navigation and its new services. BMW Live Cockpit Professional runs on a 12.3-inch in-screen and is aided by Control Display and its display measuring 10.25-inches across. BMW Operating System 7.0 brings the 7-Series closer to having a full and configurable computer available to the driver with 320 GB of memory. It’s controlled by the iDrive Controller, the steering wheel controls, touch control, voice control or using gesture control. BMW’s Touch Command unit can be used from any seat and, in the back, passengers can operate seat adjustment, interior lighting, and climate control, as well as the infotainment, which includes rear seat entertainment screens.
We look forward to seeing how this all stacks up in the real world, and hope that the 7-Series has truly found its purpose again rather than trying to be all things to all people. How much the sportiness of some of the options is important to the people that buy this class of vehicle is debatable. That means what’s important is how the rest of the new 7-Series recipe works together. It needs to at least glide alongside the Mercedes S-Class and measure up well to the technology in the Audi A8. We hope it does both.