Automotive

BMW details lighweight new 7 Series

BMW details lighweight new 7 S...
The new 7 Series takes advantage of carbon fiber in its construction for significant weight loss
The new 7 Series takes advantage of carbon fiber in its construction for significant weight loss
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BMW's new 7 Series features a hybrid carbon-core construction
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BMW's new 7 Series features a hybrid carbon-core construction
The 7 Series is over 5 meters (16 ft) long
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The 7 Series is over 5 meters (16 ft) long
BMW has drawn on its "i" program for the new 7 Series
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BMW has drawn on its "i" program for the new 7 Series
Long wheelbase versions of all engine options are available
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Long wheelbase versions of all engine options are available
A hybrid version of the 7 Series will also be on offer
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A hybrid version of the 7 Series will also be on offer
The 740e offers 40 km (25 miles) of all-electric range
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The 740e offers 40 km (25 miles) of all-electric range
BMW claims a scarcely believable 2.1 l/100km on the combined cycle for the 7 Series hybrid
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BMW claims a scarcely believable 2.1 l/100km on the combined cycle for the 7 Series hybrid
The 740e plug-in hybrid delivers 240 kW (326 hp) of power
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The 740e plug-in hybrid delivers 240 kW (326 hp) of power
The spot for the plug-in hybrid's charging plug
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The spot for the plug-in hybrid's charging plug
The 740e is perfect for owners who drive their cars around town, because it can cruise around on electric drive only
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The 740e is perfect for owners who drive their cars around town, because it can cruise around on electric drive only
The 7 Series takes advantage of the lessons learned from BMW's "i" project
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The 7 Series takes advantage of the lessons learned from BMW's "i" project
The 7 Series on the production line
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The 7 Series on the production line
The 7 Series on the production line
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The 7 Series on the production line
The car is available in long-wheelbase and all-wheel drive variants
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The car is available in long-wheelbase and all-wheel drive variants
The new 7 Series takes advantage of carbon fiber in its construction for significant weight loss
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The new 7 Series takes advantage of carbon fiber in its construction for significant weight loss
iDrive debuted in the fourth generation 7 Series, and BMW has debuted gesture control in the new car
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iDrive debuted in the fourth generation 7 Series, and BMW has debuted gesture control in the new car
BMW has put plenty of effort into improving the quality of the 7 Series' touchpoints
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BMW has put plenty of effort into improving the quality of the 7 Series' touchpoints
Buyers can spec massaging seats, a footrest and a removable Touch Command control tablet
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Buyers can spec massaging seats, a footrest and a removable Touch Command control tablet
Four zone climate control is available on the 7 Series
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Four zone climate control is available on the 7 Series
Chauffeur-driven passengers are well catered for
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Chauffeur-driven passengers are well catered for
Passengers who have the Executive Lounge option box ticked are treated to a spacious, luxurious experience
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Passengers who have the Executive Lounge option box ticked are treated to a spacious, luxurious experience
BMW has attempted to tackle Mercedes and Audi with the new 7 Series interior
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BMW has attempted to tackle Mercedes and Audi with the new 7 Series interior
Airline-like touches are aimed at businessmen who prefer the back seat
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Airline-like touches are aimed at businessmen who prefer the back seat
Luxurious touches are everywhere in the 7 Series
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Luxurious touches are everywhere in the 7 Series
Laser lights are optional on the 7 Series
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Laser lights are optional on the 7 Series
BMW's classic design cues are still present on the 7 Series
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BMW's classic design cues are still present on the 7 Series
BMW's control tablet can be used from outside the car
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BMW's control tablet can be used from outside the car
The 7 Series will park itself at the touch of a button on the driver's key
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The 7 Series will park itself at the touch of a button on the driver's key
BMW's classic design cues are all present
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BMW's classic design cues are all present
The 7 Series can be had with a diesel, petrol or hybrid powertrain
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The 7 Series can be had with a diesel, petrol or hybrid powertrain
The 7 Series is 130 kg (286 lb) lighter than the car it replaces
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The 7 Series is 130 kg (286 lb) lighter than the car it replaces
Front and rear passengers are well catered for in the new 7 Series
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Front and rear passengers are well catered for in the new 7 Series
BMW's new 7 Series brings the nameplate into its sixth generation
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BMW's new 7 Series brings the nameplate into its sixth generation
The 7 Series is likely to be a hit with chauffeur-driven business types
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The 7 Series is likely to be a hit with chauffeur-driven business types
BMW is hoping the car can tackle Mercedes' and Audi's high-end flagships
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BMW is hoping the car can tackle Mercedes' and Audi's high-end flagships
The 7 Series' styling draws on BMW's design language, but adds a number of luxury flourishes
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The 7 Series' styling draws on BMW's design language, but adds a number of luxury flourishes
View gallery - 36 images

After teasing us with the promise of a number of high-tech firsts, BMW has finally taken the wraps off its new flagship. The 7 Series will go into battle with Mercedes' and Audi's finest long-wheelbase warriors armed with a lightweight, supercar-inspired body and a gesture-controlled iDrive system.

In its quest for large car enlightenment, Bavaria's finest engineershave drawn on the lessons learned in producing the carbon-rich i3 and i8 totry and save weight in the 7 Series. Thenew car's Carbon Core body construction integrates carbon fiber with aluminumand high-tensile steel for greater structural rigidity – important structuralcomponents like the B-pillars are made from high tensile steel, while the car's trunk lid and doors are made up of aluminum.

These weight-saving measures, combined with lightweightcomponents in the wheels, suspension and brakes, contribute to weight loss of upto 130 kg (286 lb) over the old 7 Series, as well as a lower center of gravity and a 15percent reduction in unsprung mass.

While many owners may not even notice all the effort that's gone into savingweight in their 7 Series, they will definitely notice the improvements made tothe interior. Having introduced iDrivein the fourth generation 7 Series, BMW has used its new flagship to debutgesture control, which allows drivers to control infotainment functions likeaudio volume or phone calls with just a wave of their hand.

Gesture control is something that manufacturers likeVolkswagen have toyed with in their concepts, but BMW is one of the first tointegrate it into its production models.

iDrive debuted in the fourth generation 7 Series, and BMW has debuted gesture control in the new car
iDrive debuted in the fourth generation 7 Series, and BMW has debuted gesture control in the new car

BMW is also offering buyers a raft of high-endcustomization options. All of the buttons on the center console are framed byaluminum or wood, and particular attention has been paid to improving thequality of the driver's touchpoints.

Rear passengers have been well catered for in the new 7Series, too. An optional four-zone climate control system should eliminateany complaints from fussy rear-seat passengers, while the Executive Loungeoption is perfect for cashed-up buyers who prefer to be chauffeured everywhere.

The passengers in the back are treated to a folding table, footrest, massage seats with three levels of intensity and an animated in-seat training program. BMW has included a removable 7-inch TouchCommand tablet to control the functions and programs, which works inside and outside the car.

The 7 Series will park itself at the touch of a button on the driver's key
The 7 Series will park itself at the touch of a button on the driver's key

Fans of James Bond will be particularly excited to know thatthe new 7 Series can now be parked by remote control. Not content with auto-reverseparking or parking sensors, BMW's new 7 Series lets owners get out of theircars and press a button on their key, resulting in the car driving itself straight into (orreverse straight out of) the spot.

To stop the 7 Series being turned into agiant, expensive remote control car, BMW's system will only allow it to move afew meters out of the spot before the driver has to jump in and take control.

The new 7 Series is also loaded to thegills with features designed to make the driver's life safer and easier. BMW'soptional adaptive LED headlamps mold the beam around oncoming traffic, andworks in tandem with the Night Vision system to spotlight any objects that maybe hidden. Night Vision also shows an image of heat-radiating objects on anin-dash display. i8-like anti-dazzle laser lights are also available.

The 7 Series is 130 kg (286 lb) lighter than the car it replaces
The 7 Series is 130 kg (286 lb) lighter than the car it replaces

The 7 Series range kicks off with the all-wheel drive 730dxDrive, which produces 195 kW (265 hp) and 620 Nm (457 lb.ft) of torque – enough to propelthe 5.1-meter long (16.7 ft) luxury barge to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.1 seconds. If youprefer your BMWs with a petrol engine, the range starts with the 740i, whichhits 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds thanks to its 240 kW (326 hp) and 450 Nm (332 lb.ft).

For those in search of a more economical option, BMW hascontinued the expansion of its hybrid range with the 740e plug-in hybrid. Despiteits impressive 240 kW (326 hp) of power, the 7 Series hybrid will return ascarcely believable 2.1 l/100km (135 mpg) on the combined cycle. With a claimedmaximum range of 40 km (25 miles) in pure electric mode, the 7 Series' range is 10 km (6 miles) morethan the Mercedes S500 Plug In hybrid.

The most powerful option in the 7 Series range will be theV8 750i, which is putting out 330 kW (450 hp) and 650 Nm (479 lb.ft).

All 7 Series' will be built at BMW's plant in Dingolfing. Each7 Series model is available in regular or, more expensive, long-wheelbaseversions. BMW is yet to release details about pricing.

You can see BMW's official launch film below.

Source: BMW

The all-new BMW 7 Series. Official launch film.

View gallery - 36 images
4 comments
guzmanchinky
I'm sure it will be an excellent car. However, MB just announced self driving at freeway speeds (and the Tesla as well) so if it doesn't have that, it will fall behind...
John Banister
You know what's heavy? Lead. A lighter material is Lithium. If BMW is using technology to save weight, why not ditch the 12V lead battery in favor of a 36V lithium battery? The higher voltage would allow for smaller wires that have fewer troubles when oxidation occurs at the terminals.
bergamot69
Some very good features about this car- eg the use of lightweight materials, but as usual BMW can't help adding unnecessary complexity to relatively simple processes, such as hand gestures to operate the iDrive system- for those of us who tend to 'talk with our hands' that would become rapidly very annoying- not to mention distracting, when the stereo volume suddenly gets very loud because someone is trying articulate a point using accessory hand gestures (ie not suitable for Italians)...
Existing BMWs already have too much in the way of simple Sat-Nav programming, for example, with the most irritating and cumbersome text input selection- far less straightforward and slow compared to almost any inexpensive aftermarket Sat Nav...
Then there is the most annoying indicator stalks that do not stay 'up' or 'down' when indicating- so when manually cancelling (eg after a lane change) it is very easy to indicate the other way by mistake. And it is customary on British motorways to thank other drivers who have let you into their lane by quickly indicating Right/Left/Right (or vice versa)- in a BMW this usually means a prolonged sequence of extra signals as you go to cancel the previous ones- embarrassing, and also probably confusing to other drivers. What possible advantage do BMW cite for modifying a simple procedure that has worked well on other cars for many decades?
Stephen N Russell
Love 2 rent, nice.