For the 5th time BMW has refreshed their flagship luxury sedan and all I can say is “its so money!” Following the suit of the famed Chris Bangle designs the outward appearance of the new 7 is one of controversy. BMW forms are split 50/50, but either way 100% of them are talking about it which works out in BMW’s favor.
The first thing that should be noted is that there will no longer be a V12 engine option. In its place will a 400HP twin-turbo V8, this same set up will also power the new X6. Of course when it comes to diesel we’ll be left out as Europe enjoys 400 ft-lb of torque.
On the inside the shifter (linked to a 6-speed automatic) is moved back to the center console and gives the driver an option of sequential shifting when they’re feeling “sporty”. Handling is improved with a double wishbone suspension configuration in the front and a “V” rear suspension.
The real money is in the interior. The iDrive system returns with a bigger screen and is more streamlined to increase user-friendlyness while navigating through the menus. You still have your GPS Navigation, bluetooth cell link, and top of the line audio system. But now you can give your rear passengers the option for a DVD player with their own individual monitors mounted to the back of the front seats (750il model).
The new 7 series will make its official debut in November at the LA Auto Show, then shortly after in several rap videos.
Check out an excerpt from the official BMW Press Release below:
THE NEW 5th GENERATION BMW 7 SERIES BREAKS COVER
Woodcliff Lake, NJ-July 5, 2008, 6PM (EDT)… New milestones of automotive progress are set from time to time: Now, as the new BMW 7 Series approaches its market launch, it is that time again. As the world’s most successful purveyor of premium motor vehicles, BMW now presents the 5th generation of its flagship sedan, demonstrating once again how all-encompassing luxury can be combined and harmonized with the pleasures of dynamic performance.
The new 7 Series will make its North American premiere at the Los Angeles International Autoshow in November, 2008 and is expected to be in U.S. authorized BMW centers by spring 2009.
- Fifth generation of the BMW 7 Series; a completely new interpretation of style, luxury and driving pleasure. The U.S. market will receive the 750i and, with its wheelbase extended by 140 mm/5.5 in., the 750Li.
- The attributes of these vehicles are expressed visually by their design, which radiates a natural presence, inherent sportiness and an elegance born of precision in concept and execution. A whole new generation of V-8 engine with direct injection and twin turbochargers expresses BMW EfficientDynamics at the highest level of performance. Weight-efficient construction and innovative chassis technology contribute to provide the platform for dynamic driving qualities that are unique in the world of luxury automobiles. New, exclusive BMW driver-assistance systems and comfort-related features further add to the truly exceptional driving and riding experience these automobiles deliver.
- An unmistakable look, confident and proud in its character, expresses typical BMW sportiness in its most elegant form. Viewed from various angles, the design is composed of energetic proportions; a graceful silhouette; sculptural surfaces that embody modernism; the large, vertical, yet low-set BMW “kidney” grilles; and a rear aspect that communicates a wide stance, muscular substance and clarity of line.
- Inside the new 7, the theme is consistent with the exterior: an advanced spatial concept with clear organization and delineation of driving- and comfort-oriented functions. The ambiance is luxurious, of transcendent quality and – most important of all – inviting. Gently contoured lines, high-caliber materials and an enhanced feeling of space add up to a harmonious, expansive and luxurious environment. The driver-oriented control center features Black Panel technology. A console-mounted E-Shift transmission control, new to the 7 Series, is positioned close to the new Driving Dynamics Control, the BMW iDrive controller. More functions than ever are conveniently accessible to the driver from the multi-function steering wheel.
- An entirely new generation of BMW’s pioneering iDrive presents features and functions in a larger (10.2-in.), high-resolution color display. More intuitive operation is ensured by an optimized menu structure; a new controller enabling function selection and activation via turn, push and tilt motions; direct-select keys; and eight freely programmable Memory Keys. The standard GPS Navigation system is newly enhanced with topography and functionally improved; the audio system gains a hard drive.
- An all-new engine powers both models in the U.S. Recently introduced in the X6, it’s a 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 delivering 400 hp and 450lbs-ft of torque over an amazingly broad rpm range. Fuel efficiency promises to be class-leading too, though official EPA ratings are not yet available.
- A 6-speed automatic transmission with optimized shifting smoothness and speed, also promotes enhanced fuel efficiency.
- All-around weight-efficient construction within the BMW EfficientDynamics concept: extensive use of multi-phase and hot-rolled steels in the body/chassis’ load-bearing structures; aluminum roof, doors, hood and front fenders; aluminum front spring towers; aluminum-block engine, aluminum differential housing.
- An entirely new suspension system, engineered for dynamic handling and a refined ride. The new 7 is BMW’s first passenger car (i.e. not Sports Activity Vehicle) with multi-link double-wishbone front suspension. At the rear, the new Integral V rear suspension also contributes to EfficientDynamics via extensive use of aluminum. On the 750Li, self-leveling air suspension is standard. Rack-and-pinion steering with variable ratio and hydraulic power assist continues, but with a new-type hydraulic pump that delivers assist only when called for, thereby saving fuel. Also new, and a world premiere: Integral Active Steering, which adds speed-sensitive rear-wheel steering to BMW’s proven front Active Steering system. This is included in U.S. models’ Sport Package.
- The suspension system features further development of BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control. With standard Driving Dynamics Control, the driver can choose between four settings for shock-absorber firmness, transmission shift characteristics, engine-throttle response, power-steering assist: Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. In Sport mode, the default settings can be adjusted by the driver. In Sport Plus, the traction-and-stability system Dynamic Stability Control switches to its Dynamic Traction Control setting (reduced traction intervention), which is suitable for track-style driving. Active Roll Stabilization, BMW’s system of reducing body lean in cornering, continues as part of the optional Sport Package.
- An array of innovative driver-assistance options that’s unique in the luxury segment (asterisk indicates new, or new to 7 Series) Active Cruise Control with new stop-and-go capability; Lane Departure Warning*, Active Blind Spot Detection*, Head-up Display*, High Beam Assistant*, BMW Night Vision with new Pedestrian Detection, Side View* and Back-up Cameras.*
- Maximum occupant protection via optimized body structure and a comprehensive range of passive safety systems, electronically controlled and coordinated according to actual impact or threatening conditions. As is customary in all current BMWs, 3-point safety belts are employed at all seating positions, the front of which are equipped with pretensioners – although, in the new 7 Series, the pretensioners use electric motors rather than pyrotechnics to pre-tension the belt an anticipation of impact. The passive safety systems of the new 7 Series are rounded out by front side and impact airbags, front/rear head protection airbags, active head restraints on the front seats and knee airbags. Via the standard BMW Assist system, automatic emergency calling is newly enhanced to include accident severity analysis.
- A wide range of comfort functions and innovative entertainment features: audio amenities include new hard-drive music storage, multi-channel amplification and speaker outputs, auxiliary audio input; available 6-disc DVD changer and iPod/USB ports. Further optional or standard luxuries include 4-zone climate control with “draft-free” vents, Active Seat Ventilation, Active Comfort massaging seats, newly enhanced telematics, an innovative new moonroof concept, and a first-ever Integrated Owner’s Manual.