In addition to exterior and interior design changes, BMW has updated the 7 Series engine range to include a new eight-cylinder engine and an in-line six-cylinder unit with plug-in hybrid system offering extended electric range.
The BMW 7 Series will continue to be offered in standard and long wheelbase body variants. The longer version of the luxury saloon has a wheelbase extended by 14 centimetres over the standard car to 3,210 millimetres. Both variants have grown by 22 millimetres over their respective predecessors.
The new BMW 7 Series incorporates a design refresh at the front end that is now around 50mm taller at its foremost point. The traditional BMW kidney grille is now significantly larger and features active air flap control with adjustable vanes that only open when the need for cooling air is increased.
Standard equipment for the new BMW 7 Series includes Adaptive LED Headlights with variable light distribution, adaptive and cornering light functions, and the BMW Selective Beam non-dazzling high-beam assistant. Soft close doors also come as standard, an additional enhancement from the previous BMW 7 Series model.
The selection of exterior paint finishes available for the new BMW 7 Series comprises one non-metallic and 12 metallic finishes. Customers can also choose from four BMW Individual options and countless BMW Individual special paint finishes.
The new BMW 7 Series models are equipped as standard with a hands-free phone system including wireless charging. Previously situated under the centre console armrest, the tray for smartphones that support wireless charging is now positioned immediately in front of the cupholders. LED ambient lighting with a choice of six colours is available as standard.
The Harman/Kardon loundspeaker system is also now standard on all variants of the new BMW 7 Series, apart from the BMW M760Li which features the upgraded Bowers and Wilkins system.
The new BMW 7 Series also includes the latest version of the BMW Touch Command unit. This removable tablet with a 7-inch screen can be used from any seat and even outside the vehicle. It lets the occupants operate comfort functions such as seat adjustment, interior lighting and climate control, as well as the infotainment, navigation and communication systems. It can also be used to play external audio and video files.
The new BMW 7 Series is available with petrol and diesel engines using six, eight and 12 cylinders as well as a plug-in hybrid drive system offering an increased electric range, enhanced performance and lower consumption. The eight-speed Steptronic transmission fitted as standard on all model variants has also undergone further improvement as has the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system that can be combined not just with the petrol and diesel engines but with the hybrid drive too.
Spearheading the line-up of engines for the new BMW 7 Series is the 12-cylinder petrol engine. This 6.6-litre unit is used to power the BMW M760Li xDrive. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph. The benchmark zero to 62mph sprint can be achieved in 3.8 seconds, combined fuel consumption is 20.8-21.6mpg.
The entry level petrol engine comes in the form of the BMW 740i and 740Li. With a power output of 335 bhp and a peak torque of 332 ft lb, the 740i and the 740Li accelerate from 5.5 and 5.6 seconds, respectively. The fuel consumption figures are between 31.7-34.0mpg and 31.0-33.6mpg, the with CO2 emissions of 161g/km and 164g/km.
The choice of models equipped with BMW eDrive technology now comprise the BMW 745e and the BMW 745Le xDrive. This delivers the integration of a six-cylinder in-line engine into the plug-in hybrid system, a more advanced high-voltage battery, more power and torque, plus improved figures for electric range, consumption and CO2 emissions.
The plug-in hybrid models that will be available at the launch of the new BMW 7 Series in spring 2019 feature a six-cylinder in-line petrol engine from the current BMW Efficient Dynamics family of power units with maximum output of 282 bhp and an electric motor with a rated output of 111 bhp and a peak torque of 195 ft lb. With the Driving Experience Control switch set to SPORT mode, total power of 389 bhp is available, while the maximum combined torque for the plug-in hybrid variants in the new BMW 7 Series is up to 443 ft lb.
The new plug-in hybrid drive technology enables the BMW 745e and BMW 745Le xDrive models to record zero to 62mph times of between 5.3 and 5.1 seconds while achieving an electric-only range of between 32 and 36 miles. The speed threshold for all-electric driving has also increased to 68mph. The combined fuel consumption figures for the plug-in hybrid luxury versions are between 108.6-134.5mpg. The CO2 emissions produced when burning fuel average between 48 and 52g/km.
The new BMW 7 Series also offers 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line diesel engines delivering 261 bhp (730d), 316 bhp (740d xDrive and 740Ld xDrive).
A latest-generation eight-speed Steptronic transmission is featured in the BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive versions while the BMW 745e and BMW 745Le xDrive are equipped with a hybrid-specific variant of the eight-speed Steptronic transmission. For the first time, the plug-in hybrid variants are available with the standard of an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, offering quicker gear changes and the benefit of shift paddles on the steering wheel. The Launch Control function is another feature of the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, which comes as standard on the new BMW M760Li xDrive.
Intelligent networking enables the eight-speed Steptronic transmission’s controller to also factor in navigation data when selecting the best shift strategy. As a result unnecessary gear shifts can be eliminated and optimum use can be made of the engine braking effect when approaching a junction. The drive system’s networking with both the navigation system and the cameras and radar sensors likewise serves to maximise the efficiency-enhancing effect of the Auto Start Stop and coasting functions. In this way, inefficient engine shutdown when stopping only briefly can be prevented, while the coasting function is only activated if the route topography and traffic situation mean it won’t compromise either comfort or performance.
“Connected Navigation” encompasses a number of digital services to improve and enhance route planning. In future, drivers of the new BMW 7 Series will be able to send destinations from various apps straight to their car’s navigation system. The key destinations will be stored in BMW Connected and synchronised with the car, so that the most important addresses can be accessed from any device at any time. One particularly helpful new feature is the Parking Space Assistant, which proposes various parking options to the driver in good time before the destination is reached. This service includes providing information on the nearest multi-storey car park as well as proposing routes offering a particularly good chance of finding a parking spot close to the destination.
The new BMW 7 Series is on sale now with prices starting from £69,565.