BMW unveiled the redesigned 2016 7 Series in Munich, Germany today, which marks the beginning of its sixth generation. So what does this new luxury sedan bring to the table? BMW promises its flagship sedan will be filled to the brim with new and innovative technologies that aims to raise the benchmark in lightweight design, driving dynamics, comfort, intelligent connectivity, and intuitive operation.
Leading the list of innovative features is gesture controls so drivers can adjust the radio and answer (or reject) phone calls with a wave of their hand. If waving your hand is too innocuous, you can access BMW’s complex iDrive controls using a touchscreen, voice commands, or real buttons depending upon your preference. Wireless phone charging and remote parking capability also are notable features that are new for the 7 Series.
BMW has worked especially hard to insure that their new flagship sedan is advanced in terms of both luxury and technology. The Carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) core that makes the car 190 pounds lighter also stiffens the body structure, giving the full-size luxury sedan a superbly solid feel.
BMW created a Carbon Core passenger cell that increases safety of its occupants and has the added benefit of reducing weight. Essentially, CFRP is combined with steel and aluminum to construct an ultra-strong and lightweight passenger cell. A CFRP roof frame has the advantages of being extremely strong and light, thereby increasing the torsional stiffness of the cabin and lowering the car’s center of gravity. Aluminum is used extensively for the doors, trunk lid, and select suspension components to further reduce weight.
In the Lap of Luxury
The U.S. market will exclusively get the long wheelbase version when it arrives this fall season. BMW claims the new 7 Series is the roomiest sedan they have ever built and are proud of their class-leading rear seat legroom.
|BMW 7 Series||206.6″||85.4″||58.2″||126.4″||44.4″|
|Audi A8 L||207.4″||76.7″||57.9″||122.9″||42.9″|
|Lexus LS 460 L||205.0′||73.8″||58.3″||121.7″||36.7″|
Inside, nearly every surface is covered in butter-soft leather or real wood accents. A step up from the conventional leather upholstery is the optional fine-grain Merino sheep skin leather that is soft, supple and oozes with quality. Rear seat passengers can relax in opulence using the optional Executive Lounge Seating package, which allows the backrest of the backseat to recline up to a 42.5 degree angle, elevating their feet onto the powered footrest found on the back of the front passenger seat, and viewing their favorite video from the rear-seat entertainment system.
Three variants will be available for the new 7 Series: the 740i, 750i xDrive, and 740e xDrive hybrid.The 740i comes with BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine that is rated at 320 horsepower.
The 750i xDrive uses a redesigned 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 that is more efficient and can produce 445 horsepower. Power is sent to all four wheels and is distributed electronically between the front and rear wheels based on traction and stability demands.
Available in 2016 will be the 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid (PHEV). Power in the 740e is derived from a 2.0-liter gasoline engine with TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric drive unit integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission. When driven in pure electric mode, the 740e has the top speed of 75 mph and a maximum range of 23 miles.
Set to arrive in the US showrooms in the fall of 2015, the MSRP for the BMW 740i will be $81,300 and the BMW 750i xDrive will be $97,400 (prices do not include Destination and Handling).
Others premium luxury sedans worth considering:
Audi A8 L W12, Lexus LS, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Maserati Quattroporte, Jaguar XJ, Cadillac XTS