The new 7 embodies luxury that inspires, driving dynamics that enthuse, and a visual presence that earns universal admiration. It is the product of a self-assured design philosophy and consistent yet ever-evolving engineering artistry. In great measure, this new sedan owes its unique, progressive character to an abundance of innovations whose purpose is to make driving a magnificent automobile – as well as riding in it – a memorable experience.
At the core of this experience are chassis engineering that sets new international standards and all-new powertrain technology. BMW, which introduced its Active Steering concept in 2004, now brings it to the 7 Series in a new, unique form: Integral Active Steering, encompassing not only the original variable-ratio front steering, but also, new rear-wheel steering. Acting as an overall system, the two capabilities deliver a new combination of handling ease, maneuverability and unrivaled stability in dynamic driving conditions: Integral Active Steering is included in the optional Sport Package.
The new 7 Series introduces Driving Dynamics Control, which enables the driver to select from four progressively sporty driving programs with the touch of a button. Driving Dynamics Control integrates Dynamic Damping Control (which has three-mode shock-absorber control) with transmission shift characteristics, engine response to the accelerator pedal, and steering assist and traction control level.
Active Roll Stabilization another BMW advance in handling and riding comfort, is yet another element of the available Sport Package: Via electro-hydraulically actuated anti-roll bars, ARS reduces body “roll” or lean in cornering to a minimum, greatly enhancing the feeling of road-hugging handling.
With the new 7, BMW again assumes the role of world leader in automotive control concepts. A 2nd generation of iDrive sets new standards for ergonomics, efficiency and logical functionality with its larger, higher-definition Control Display. New, uniformly structured menus and an optimized control strategy for the display and console-mounted controller are also signature features of the new system.
Other new details include buttons for direct selection of the Radio, CD, Navigation and Telecommunications menus, grouped conveniently next to the controller. Visual assists and consistent flow in the display simplify choices within the individual menus. In the GPS Navigation section, users will benefit from map displays with new standards of size, brilliance, detail and view choice. A “map preview” function facilitates selection of the navigation destination from a list; in a new operational logic, letters of the alphabet and numerals are arranged in circular form for more intuitive input of addresses and phone numbers.
Thanks to innovative driver-assistance systems – some of them BMW-exclusive – active safety also attains new levels. The new 7 is the first in its segment to offer a Head-up Display, which projects relevant driving information onto the windshield in front of the driver. The HUD is a stand-alone option on U.S. models. Optional Adaptive Cruise Control, with new Stop-and-Go capability, assists the driver in maintaining serene progress in rapid freeway or interstate driving or on country roads; and in dense, stop-and-go traffic, can do precisely that when necessary to maintain a safe following distance.
With the new 7, BMW’s newly developed Active Blind Spot Detection makes its debut. Its function is to warn the driver – by vibration in the steering wheel plus a blinking LED on the exterior mirror – upon initiating a lane change when there is an unseen vehicle in the blind spot or when there is a vehicle –not yet in the blind spot- but is closing in at a rate that could result in a collision if the driver changed lanes. Active Blind Spot Detection will be offered together with the Lane Departure Warning, a familiar BMW option but new to the 7 Series. By alerting the driver (also, via a vibrating steering wheel) when a lane change is initiated without the turn signals, the driver is assisted in avoiding potential accidents.
A harmonious blend of dynamic presence and elegance is the overarching theme in the new 7 Series design. A long wheelbase (in the Li, longer), long hood and short front overhang are basic attributes; a “greenhouse” set relatively rearward, a flat roofline and overall dynamic proportions say “BMW,” and at the same time “the most elegant BMW.”
At the front, headlights include BMW’s distinctive use of the “corona rings” for Daytime Running Lamps, and are accented at the top by a light band that visually unifies the traditional dual headlights on each side. The BMW “kidney grilles” – another traditional element, appearing here in new form – are notable for their boldness, verticality and low placement.
In profile, the interplay of convex and concave surfaces associated with recent BMW design appears here in extended, subtly swung contours and lines. For the first time on a 7 Series, the front side panels include a chromed “gill” that integrates the side blinker – itself a safety element – and lends character to the relatively long space between front wheelwell and windshield base. Form follows function: this proportion is a consistent attribute of BMW body design, and an outward sign of the rear-wheel drive and optimum front/rear weight balance that are BMW tenets.
The profile’s sculptural modeling makes for a graceful transition into the rear deck. Rooflines flow gracefully over the flanks all the way to the bumpers creating a sporty conclusion to this altogether graceful design. An understated chrome band connects the taillight clusters, which continue the L-shape that has become a BMW tradition. LED technology throughout makes for warm, homogeneous illumination whether tail-, brake- or turn-signal lights or even the 3rd brakelight, set into the rear window’s upper edge.
If the standard-wheelbase 750i already offers generous interior space, the long-wheelbase 750Li provides truly lavish accommodations for rear-seat passengers. And in the new 7, the meaning of “L” isn’t confined to just length: rather, this model also has its own roofline This solution provides additional rear head room, as well as help maintain the dynamic proportions of the car to avoid making it look like a stretched version of the short wheel base 750i. Thus BMW’s typical “Joy of Driving” is complemented by the “Joy of Being Driven.”
And even this extra space can be further enhanced by two available options. Rear Comfort Seats only available in the Li model, includes individual left and right Comfort seats with multiple adjustments including fore-aft (70 mm/2.76-in. range), cushion and backrest angles, and head-restraint positions. Additionally, rear Comfort Seats also feature Active Ventilation and Active Comfort (“massage”) functions.
The Rear Entertainment Package adds yet another dimension to rear-seat luxury: a DVD player with color monitors integrated into the front seats’ backrests, controlled from a dedicated remote. This option is available on both 750i and 750Li.
The new V-8 engine takes a different approach. Its displacement is reduced to 4.4 liters; replacing – no, surpassing – the higher displacement and Valvetronic are twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection. In quantitative terms, the new engine delivers 400 hp (40 hp more) and does so over a range from 5500 to 6400 rpm, vs. the previous engine’s 6300 rpm. Maximum torque is up even more: 450 lb-ft. vs. the previous 360, and available over the extremely broad range of 1750 to 4500 rpm, vs. 3400 rpm before. The bottom line here is, yes, greater power and torque; but more importantly, delivered over a much wider range of operating conditions. Also impressive: that 450-lb-ft. torque peak is almost identical to that of previous 760i/Li models’ 6.0-liter V-12 engine!
The point of the new engineering approach is to achieve higher performance without correspondingly higher fuel consumption. In technical terms, the approach involves some very new design details. For the first time, twin turbochargers and the exhaust-cleansing catalytic converters are placed between the V-8’s two cylinder banks. In turn, this required the exhaust camshafts and valves to be inboard so that the path from cylinders to turbochargers (which are driven by exhaust gas) would be efficiently short. The intake camshafts and valves are then positioned outboard. Visually, this results in a very different-looking engine.
In making its first appearance on the 7 Series, BMW’s Active Steering (included in each model’s Sport Package) also gains new capabilities. The familiar front Active Steering electronically varies the steering ratio (the number of degrees the steering wheel must be turned to achieve a 1? steering angle at the front wheels) according to vehicle speed and other driving conditions. At low speeds and in parking maneuvers this ratio is decreased significantly, resulting in remarkable maneuverability and agility; as vehicle speed increases, so does the ratio, reaching a “normal” level at about 75 mph.
All such driving-dynamics functions are coordinated and overseen by BMW’s Integrated Chassis Management. Via sensing and analysis of a multitude of inputs, this powerful electronic control scheme applies and governs the interaction of these functions to ensure maximum stability. Under rapidly changing conditions, such as changing road surface, spontaneous steering input, abrupt acceleration or sudden braking, ICM reacts with ultra-quick and ultra-precise interventions via the DSC actuators, Dynamic Damp.
Park Distance Control, BMW’s ultrasonic-based parking assist system, remains standard as the 7 moves into its new generation. PDC warns the driver via beep tones when the vehicle approaches obstacles, at the front or rear, which may be unseen.
Source: BMW press