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.’
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.