German luxury car manufacturer BMW has just announced a November sale date for the latest version of its flagship 7-series sedan. BMW hopes that this fifth-generation model will rekindle interest in the badge, after sales declined to record lows in recent months.
Following its public debut at the Paris motor show in late September, right-hand-drive UK sales are set to kick off in November. Developed completely from scratch, with record investment from BMW, the new 7-series is the beginning of a renewed push by BMW for technological superiority.
It will have 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 too. All three engines produce more power yet use less fuel and produce fewer emissions than the models they replace.
It's also lightly bigger than the current 7-series - 33mm longer at 5072mm - but the same width and 12mm lower. The wheelbase has also been extended by 83mm to 3073mm, reducing the overhangs and, in combination with wider tracks giving the new car a more confident stance. A long-wheelbase Li model will also be available, adding 140mm to the rear doors for improved access and added legroom.
The biggest advance on the new model is the car's rear-wheel-steer system, called Integral Active Steering. BMW claims the technology gives the 7-series class-leading agility and unparalleled low-speed manoeuvrability.
It's the first production car to offer internet access on the move as part of BMW's ConnectedDrive system. It also has a night-vision system, like the Mercedes S-class, but this one can distinguish between humans and objects and will sound an alarm if it thinks an accident is likely.
The new BMW 730d's all-aluminium 3.0-litre straight-six cylinder diesel engine produces 245hp at 4,000rpm, coupled with a peak torque figure of 540Nm attained from 1,750rpm through to 3,000rpm.
The 2,993cc powerplant posts the lowest ever CO2 figure of any previous BMW 7 Series and it is also the most economical 7 Series ever. Its 192g / km emission figure is class-leading for conventionally powered luxury cars, while no other competitor comes close to its 39.2mpg combined consumption figure. It can accelerate from zero to 62mph in 7.2 seconds and has a 153mph top speed.
The BMW 750i and 750Li are the range flagships. The new 4,395cc V8 engine from the recently launched X6, featuring twin-turbochargers and high-precision direct injection technology, produces 407hp from 5,500rpm to 6,400rpm, backed up 600Nm of torque from 1,750rpm to 4,500rpm.
Such breathtaking performance sees the BMW 750i accelerate from zero to 62mph in 5.2 seconds (5.3 seconds for the 750Li) before going on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Consumption on the combined cycle is 24.8mpg, while CO2 emissions equate to 266g/km.
Aimed at customers who prefer the characteristics of a petrol-powered BMW six-cylinder engine, the BMW 740i and 740Li are also offered. Using a 2,979cc powerplant, the BMW 740i musters 326hp and 450Nm of torque. The twin-turbocharged engine features high-precision direct injection and Double-VANOS variable valve technology to achieve optimum performance.
The car accelerates from zero to 62mph in 5.9 seconds (6.0 seconds for the 740Li) before going on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. The 3.0-litre BMW 740i and 740Li post combined fuel consumption figures of 28.5mpg and 28.2mpg respectively, while returning emissions figures of 232g/km and 235g/km.
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