BMW's new 7-series has a raft of new innovations in both cabin and chassis
28 July 2008

BMW has revealed a unique set of innovations for its forthcoming 7-series – both in its cabin and chassis – which it believes will make its new flagship the best equipped luxury car on sale in Europe.

We’ve already seen the external design, but now BMW has released full details of what lies beneath the 7’s svelte surface detailing, too.

The new car introduces a new active chassis management system (branded as IMS) similar in principle to Land Rover’s Terrain Respose. This groups a variety of variable settings for the chassis, transmission and engine into four driver-chosen settings: Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus.

It’s a similar principle to that already offered by various rival manufacturers. Each setting varies damper settings, steering weight, the gearchange map, throttle response and the intervention threshold of the stability control. ‘Comfort’ gives the new 7-series its best-ever refinement, says BMW, while ‘Sport’ reportedly makes it ‘handle like a 3-Series.’

>> See more pics of the new BMW 7-series

New for the 7-Series, BMW’s familiar active steering system has been combined with a new rear-steering system. Below 35 mph the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels to reduce the turning circle and increase low-speed agility. At higher speeds they turn in the same direction as the front wheels (up to three degrees) to stabilise fast cornering or lane-changing manoeuvres.

Other refinements in the all-new fifth-generation 7-Series include several eco refinements, including a weight-saving programme that has cut mass by 55kg compared to the outgoing model, despite the new car’s extra equipment and an aerodynamic flap in the radiator grille that blanks off unnecessary airflow to reduce drag.

The car will also boast a huge amount of new smart technology. The camera/navigation system reads road signs and displays the current speed limit on the dash, a comprehensive head-up display, a night-vision system with thermal imaging built in that can ‘see’ people and animals out of normal sight, a collision warning system, and a lane-departure warning system that vibrates the steering wheel and displays a dashboard message if there’s a car in your blind spot. BMW claims that no other car in the class has such a comprehensive array of safety and convenience gadgets.

There are three engine options, all mated to the latest, power-saving ZF six-speed auto. The big seller will be the 730d, powered by a turbocharged version of BMW’s 3.0-litre six cylinder diesel engine, producting 242bhp at 4000rpm plus 399lb ft between 1750 and 3000 rpm. Though it has 10 percent more torque than the old 3.0 litre, fuel consumoption is down 10 percent, and CO2 output is just 192 gm/km. The diesel accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds and can do 150 mph.

Despite the promise of its boot-badge, the 740i is dropping the current car’s V8 power for BMW’s twin-turbo petrol 3.0-litre, good for 323bhp at 5800rpm and 332lb ft from 1500-4500rpm. And at the top of the range a twin-turbo 4.4-litre petrol V8 replaces the outgoing car’s normally aspirated 6.0 litre V12. It makes 404bhp and 443lb ft of torque, delivering a 5.2 second 0-62mph time, with top speed governed at 155 mph.

BMW won’t talk about proposed sales volumes, which is probably wise as the whole large luxury saloon egment has been suffering in recent years. The car will be in British showrooms by November in both short and long wheelbase versions, with prices sticking ‘closely’ to present levels.

Steve Cropley

Our Verdict

BMW 7 Series

Technology-laden BMW 7 Series looks better than its predecessors, but is ultimately disappointing

Join the debate

Comments
19

29 July 2008

So there are now 2 versions of the twin-turbo 3.0d in the BMW range (242bhp & 286bhp) or is that just a typo?.....Me thinks the latter.

And surely BMW cannot forego the lucrative V12 market, especially in such regions such as China where this engine is a big seller?

29 July 2008

Will someone tell me why BMW and Mercedes have both engaged in extremely puzzling model nomenclature?

A 523i has a 2.5 liter engine. So the Merc C230 also has a 2.5 liter. The Merc E280 sports a 3.0 liter, while the S320 CDi actually has only 3.0 liters. Now the 740i is not a 4.0 liter .....

It almost defeats the original logic of both manufacturers' model identification system altogether. I would suspect the marketing mavens have their hand in this plot.

What is amusing however, is that BMW and Mercedes are engaged in battle even in this plot to confuse! Utterly hilarious, actually!

29 July 2008

I'll pick one up off Ebay in 2018 for a couple of grand.

29 July 2008

[quote airgith76]

So there are now 2 versions of the twin-turbo 3.0d in the BMW range (242bhp & 286bhp) or is that just a typo?.....Me thinks the latter.

[/quote]

No. Autocar cocks up again. You may as well read the back of the cornflakes packet as read Autocar's write ups for definitive info. on most any auto subject.

It is not the twin-turbo 3 litre diesel in the new 7 series 730d - they would have denoted it as 735d, as in 335d. It is the new 3 litre single turbo diesel already announced for the facelifted 3 series. It is 245 PS/242 bhp. See http://www.bmw.de/de/de/newvehicles/3series/sedan/2008/allfacts/engine/6c_diesel.html

A new bi-turbo V12 in a 760i version and a jointly with Mercedes-Benz developed hybrid version will be available in 2009.

Anonymous

29 July 2008

Why don't you take a deep breath and go and read the story? Unless I'm going completely mad I can't see any reference to a 286bhp diesel in the 7-series. p.s do you actually like anything?

29 July 2008

[quote Chas Hallett.]Why don't you take a deep breath and go and read the story? Unless I'm going completely mad I can't see any reference to a 286bhp diesel in the 7-series. p.s do you actually like anything?[/quote]

from original article:

"The big seller will be the 730d, powered by a twin-turbo version of BMW’s 3.0-litre six cylinder diesel engine, producting 242bhp..." Autocar.

"...a twin-turbo version..."

That is wrong. It is single-turbo - the same brand-new engine in the 330d, not the existing twin-turbo in the 335d . Hence airgith76's comment over a possible typo.

Before you jump down someone's neck for pointing out a blatant mistake in your magazine's writings make sure you read the article first, the subsequent comments and properly understand them! Have the grace to correct it and move on, that's all.

Anonymous

29 July 2008

I do have the good grace to recognise mistakes and recognise that they occur in any publication or website. I think that jumping down someone's neck for a mistake is your stock in trade. Good luck with it

29 July 2008

I'm with Autocar on this. Its only a tiny error, subsequently corrected, and really not worth the level of anger exhibited above! As for the car itself, having previously thought it bland, I have now seen one in the flesh and I think it looks quite elegant. Although if I had the money to buy one I think I'd probably give that Fisker guy a call and get him to tart up the nose a bit.

29 July 2008

[quote julianphillips]"subsequently corrected"[the "tiny error].[/quote]

It is not. @11:15am 29/7/2008.

29 July 2008

[quote Chas Hallett.]

I do have the good grace to recognise mistakes and recognise that they occur in any publication or website. I think that jumping down someone's neck for a mistake is your stock in trade. Good luck with it

[/quote]

My proclivity for 'jumping down someone's neck' is as to your inability to acknowledge the errors in your fact-based write ups and subsequently to correct them, when brought to your attention, and without attacking the messenger.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK