With a front end grin not too dissimilar to that of Lightning McQueen of the Disney Pixar ‘Cars’ movie franchise, the profile of new BMW 7 Series is ‘being sharpened’ according to the company.
Only the Long Wheel Base models will be available when the car goes on sale in South Africa in the second quarter of 2019 (BMW 745Le xDrive, BMW 750Li xDrive, BMW M760Li xDrive and BMW 730Ld).
The line-up of power units for the new BMW 7 Series has also been updated and includes a new eight-cylinder engine, a six-cylinder in-line unit and plug-in hybrid systems offering extended electric range. All of the model variants already meet the stipulations of the Euro 6d-Temp emissions as standard.
The longer body variant translates its extra 14 centimetres of wheelbase into a similar on-board space gain for the rear seat passengers. The long-wheelbase (5 260 mm) is 22 millimetres longer than its predecessor. The new model’s width and height remain unchanged.
The extensive design refresh at the front end – which now rises 50 millimetres taller at its foremost point – plays a particularly prominent role in giving the new BMW 7 Series its more powerful visual presence.
The new bonnet has more sharply cut contour lines and a larger BMW roundel. The dominant force of the reworked front end is the BMW kidney grille, with its single-piece surround, whose surface area has grown by some 40%.
Inside, the luxurious ambience features Nappa leather with extended quilting added to the options list.
Optimised acoustic comfort – achieved via carefully executed refinements around the rear wheel arches, B-pillars and seatbelt outlet covers in the rear of in the new BMW 7 Series – help to enhance on-board comfort over long distances. Added to which, the side windows and rear window have thicker glass, either as standard or as part of the Comfort Glass option (depending on the model).
The choice of power units for the new BMW 7 Series includes petrol and diesel engines with six, eight and 12 cylinders, as well as an all-new plug-in hybrid drive system. Topping the range is the 6,6-litre V12 engine at the heart of the BMW M760Li xDrive, which produces 430 kW (fuel consumption combined: 12,5 l/100 km) that now comes with a gasoline particulate filter to minimise emissions.
Meanwhile, the BMW 750i xDrive features a newly developed V8 engine with 4,4-litre displacement and maximum output raised by 60 kW to 90 kW.
The plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series take all of the luxury sedan’s sporting prowess, passenger comfort and feel-good ambience and combine them with exceptionally high efficiency and the ability to offer a virtually silent, all-electric driving experience with zero local emissions.
Their plug-in hybrid system now employs a specially adapted six-cylinder in-line petrol engine and a more advanced high-voltage battery. As a result, the system can unleash a combined output of 290 kW with the Driving Experience Control switch set to SPORT mode.
The combined fuel consumption of the BMW 745e, BMW 745Le and BMW 745 Le xDrive is between 2,6 and 2,1 l/100 kilometres with CO2 emissions between 48 and 59 g/km. The three models achieve an electric range between 50 and 58 kilometres.
Three highly efficient and low-emission six-cylinder in-line diesel engines, each with 3,0-litre displacement and up to four turbo-chargers round off the drive system line-up for the new BMW 7 Series.
Under the bonnet of the BMW 750d xDrive is a 294 kW engine, while the power unit fitted in the BMW 740d xDrive develops a maximum 235 kW and the 195 kW engine for the BMW 730d
The construction of the chassis, suspension and damping systems, steering and the braking system are designed to facilitate both relaxed cruising undisturbed by inconsistencies in the road surface and a sporty, active driving style.
All variants of the new BMW 7 Series feature, as standard, adaptive suspension including electronically controlled dampers and two-axle air suspension with automatic self-levelling. Among the options customers can choose from are Integral Active Steering and the Executive Drive Pro chassis system available for all models except the plug-in hybrid variants.
The Driving Assistant Professional provides a comprehensive package of functions aimed at making driving as comfortable and safe as possible. They include the Steering and lane control assistant with Traffic Jam Assist, the Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection, the evasion aid, the Cross Traffic Alert, Priority warning and Wrong-way warning systems, plus Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function.
The standard-fitted Parking Assistant helps the driver with parking and manoeuvring. In addition, it now includes the Reversing Assistant, which can reverse the car for distances of up to 50 metres by steering it along exactly the same line it took when moving forward.
The new BMW 7 Series comes with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional as standard. This comprises a navigation and multimedia system, together with a digital, high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with a screen diagonal of 12,3 inches and a Control Display measuring 10,25 inches across.
The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is another element of the operating system. The digital companion can be activated with the spoken prompt “Hey BMW” and helps the driver to use various vehicle functions. What’s more, he will keep acquiring new capabilities all the time thanks to the updates transmitted seamlessly by Remote Software Upgrade.
The driver and passengers can also use natural voice commands with the help of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant to activate the Experience Modes and the vitality and relaxation programmes, which offer need-based compositions of various functions – such as interior lighting, air-conditioning, fragrance and shading, not to mention seat massage, heating and ventilation.
Local pricing to be announced soon.