New 7-series to get more conventional looks; may get 4x4 system
3 April 2008

These are the best pictures yet of BMW's next 7-series, which will be publicly unveiled at the Paris motor show in September.The new car abandons some of the current model's controversial styling (it was the first BMW to use design chief Chris Bangle's flame surfacing) for a smoother, more conventional look. This approach follows BMW's tradition of following a complete styling change with a more evolutionary look. The biggest differences are at the front and the rear of the car, where the head and tail lamps set the look for the next generation of BMWs. It's also slightly longer at about 5100mm, and higher than the current car, but according to Bangle it doesn't look it; the car has been designed to hide the extra bulk and some of the panels are aluminium, to help cut weight.Inside, the 7-series will retain iDrive, despite reports to the contrary. The controller has been moved from behind the gearshift, and­ the column shift has been dropped in favour of BMW's joystick style controller ­to the right of the shifter. The rotary controller also has function buttons around it, like Mercedes' 'Command system'.The new 7 will be the first BMW to get the firm's eight-speed gearbox, which can be fitted with a stop-start system, though there is no word yet on whether the 7 will get a stop-start facility. There is also the possibility of a four-wheel drive 7-series for the first time.­ BMW is missing out on a market dominated by Audi's Quattro A8 and Mercedes 4Matic S-class. A 4x4 7 would come with BMW's new DPC system - a torque vectoring unit that allows drive to be varied between the front and rear axles dependent upon traction, and between the left and right wheels for greater agility. This will be seen first on the new X6 and eventually on all BMW's 4x4 models.The V8 diesel from the current model will be discontinued in favour of developments of the twin turbo six-cylinder diesel engines. And it's likely that the V12 petrol will live on as a flagship model for the brand, especially in markets such as China.

Dan Stevens

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11

3 April 2008

So, the looks should be more appealing over the old 7-series. Let's face it, they couldn't get much worse. You also mention it will be longer. Was the old one too small? Why do they need to make them that big? Every time they replace a car, it get's fatter, longer and heavier. It's alright using weight saving techniques, but if you make it smaller to start with, it would be lighter anyway. Compare the measurements of the new one's body width and length to a 7-series 25 years ago, the difference is huge and it's not all down to safety zones either. Besides, we may want a safer car, but we don't need armour plating!!

3 April 2008

I agree BMW couldn't do much worse than the last 2 (or 3) models. This one's much better looking so I can't wait for the wraps to come off. This 7-Series looks taller and alot better proportioned than the last two 'Soviet Republic Limosine' themed models which were both too low to the floor and had something 'sinister' about them!

So it appears BMW are squaring up for a direct battle against the leader (by a large margin) the Merecedes S-Class. About time too!

3 April 2008

[quote JJBoxster]

So it appears BMW are squaring up for a direct battle against the leader (by a large margin) the Merecedes S-Class. About time too!

[/quote]

Well said.

While many of us know that the S-Class is the finest car in its class by a large margin (and possibly the best car in the world - again), it's intriguing that Autocar fails to notice this achievement when commenting about the next gen 7-Series. If this were a new Merc model that has traditionally been bettered by its BMW equivalent there'd have been headlines like 'Has Merc finally rivalled BMW', or along those lines.

Bar only a few years throughout its various incarnations, the S-Class has not only been the definitive luxury car but also the finest luxury car in the world for 30 years or more. And the fact that the S-Class has been the best in class since the previous model was launched in 1998 says it all.

Mercs have always been underestimated, but come on Autocar lets suggest that BMW isn't the maker of the finest cars in all classes.

3 April 2008

A return to elegance at last?

Hope it doesn't have a kitchen worktop on the boot again!

4 April 2008

[quote Pauldalg]kitchen worktop [/quote]

Thats the best description ive heard of that hideous rear end! Lol

8 April 2008

I really like the look of the previous (E38) 7-series - while the equivalent Merc looks solid, the BMW manages to look a lot more lithe and sporting. It was also a really clean and elegant design with some class. If they can get back some of that, I think it'll be a good thing. Then again, improving on the current one is hardly a major challenge!

8 April 2008

Blimey, you chaps are good! For the life of me I can't even remotely tell WHAT that thing looks like under all the disguise gumph.

8 April 2008

[quote Brooklands]So, the looks should be more appealing over the old 7-series. Let's face it, they couldn't get much worse. You also mention it will be longer. Was the old one too small? Why do they need to make them that big? Every time they replace a car, it get's fatter, longer and heavier. It's alright using weight saving techniques, but if you make it smaller to start with, it would be lighter anyway. Compare the measurements of the new one's body width and length to a 7-series 25 years ago, the difference is huge and it's not all down to safety zones either. Besides, we may want a safer car, but we don't need armour plating!!
[/quote]

I agree Brooklands, but all this increase in size obviously allows them to create space for another niche model, aka X6.

I remember thinking when the Mercedes 190 came out, that it was a large car, but compare the 190 to the current 'C' class and it's dwarfed. I'm sure it was on a motoring program recently, where they put them side by side.

8 April 2008

A current shape S class is of course the best car in the class. But if you want to spend 25 or 30 grand on a big car the current 730d is great and does drive incredibly well, is swift and even rides decently. So while for the big bucks the S class is the one to go for a decent used 7 is great and I have to say that while it is not classicly good looking like a previous shape S class it does still look quite good. I half suspect Bangle is being hailed as a genius by a few people.

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