The launch of the fifth generation BMW 7-Series marks a new in-class benchmark in automotive luxury, technical innovation and driving dynamics, combined with emissions-reducing and fuel-saving technology.
The flagship of the BMW model range debuts on 15 November 2008 with a host of world firsts and will initially be offered with a choice of three powerplants, one diesel and two petrol engines. The two petrol-powered cars will be offered with a long-wheelbase body. All three engines produce more power, yet use less fuel and produce fewer emissions than the models they replace.
Klaus Kibsgaard, Managing Director of BMW (UK) Ltd, said: "The BMW 7-Series is BMW personified: a luxurious, sporting premium car that is ideal for the businessman who enjoys driving. EfficientDynamics technologies offer low cost of ownership benefits at a time of financial uncertainty. The car introduces a number of intelligent design and engineering enhancements that make it a truly class-leading product."
Drivetrain The BMW 730d is powered by a new, all-aluminium engine that produces 245hp and 540Nm of torque. Capable of propelling the vehicle from zero to 62mph in 7.2 seconds before going on to a top speed of 153mph, the vehicle is still able to return the best fuel economy of any previous BMW 7-Series. And its combined 39.2mpg figure is better than any comparable car in the market: petrol, diesel or hybrid. The BMW 740i and 750i are equally noteworthy. The 740i is powered by an evolution of the current back-to-back International Engine of the Year-winning 3.0-litre petrol engine. The twin-turbocharged unit produces 326hp and 450Nm of torque to enable the 740i to accelerate from zero to 62mph in 5.9 seconds before going on to an electronically-limited 155mph top speed. It records a combined consumption figure of 28.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 232g/km.
As the flagship of the range, the BMW 750Li takes pride of place with its own world first. Its twin-turbochargers are located within the engine's vee to improve performance and packaging requirements. The configuration sees the 750i produce 407hp and 600Nm of torque which equates to a zero to 62mph time of 5.2 seconds, an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph, a combined consumption figure of 24.8mpg and emissions of 266g/km.
The BMW 7-Series comes with the marque's award-winning EfficientDynamics technologies - the same as every other model currently on sale. The introduction of Brake Energy Regeneration, active aerodynamics and on-demand use of ancillary units have all had a beneficial impact on economy and emissions compared to the previous generation. The BMW 730d is the first Seven to ever record a sub 200g/km emissions figure. Such is the impact of EfficientDynamics technologies across the entire BMW range, the marque now offers 73 models with CO2 emissions of 140g/km or less in the UK and Republic of Ireland - a greater figure than any other premium manufacturer.
Chassis and safety As with all modern BMWs, the 7-Series has a chassis configuration aimed at balancing ride comfort with a dynamic driving experience. A 50:50 weight distribution and the extensive use of lightweight materials throughout the car provide a good foundation. Building on this are a raft of active chassis and safety systems that further enhance the experience.
Standard on all BMW 7-Series variants is a double wishbone front suspension with an Integral V rear suspension configuration. Long wheelbase cars supplant the Integral V rear axle with an air suspension for greater rear passenger ride comfort. In addition to this every vehicle features Drive Dynamic Control that offers four distinct set-ups of Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+. At the touch of a button the driver can alter the gear change, throttle response, degree of power steering assistance, damper settings and the Dynamic Stability Control+ programme. Building on the standard chassis configuration are a number of optional features. Integral Active Steering allows all four wheels of the car to be steered. This improves the turning circle at slower speeds while offering a more composed ride at higher speeds. In a world first, Speed Limit Display uses a forward-facing camera to scan road signs and display the current speed limit to the driver. The system even recognises variable speed warnings in road works. Lane Departure Warning shares the same camera as Speed Limit Display to monitor road markings and warn the driver if they are in danger of straying out of lane.
Lane Change Warning provides a rearward-facing safety blanket courtesy of two sensors situated in the bumper. The system alerts the driver to any vehicle that may be in a blind spot. The BMW 7-Series can also be specified with the world's first Night Vision system with individual pedestrian recognition. Not only does the latest Night Vision scan the road 300 metres ahead it is now able to warn the driver if a pedestrian is likely to walk into the path of the car. Side View cameras and Head-up Display are two further safety features that are segment firsts.