BMW is equipping its revised 7-series with its mighty tri-turbocharged 3.0-litre diesel engine – the most powerful six-cylinder oil-burner in the world. The new 376bhp, 546lb ft 750d xDrive is the chief addition to the range, which has undergone scores of revisions as part of its mid-life facelift.
Other additions to the line-up include an ActiveHybrid 7 model, while an eight-speed gearbox is now standard across the range. There’s also subtle exterior styling tweaks, a whole host of new safety technology, a boost in interior equipment levels and revised chassis settings designed to iron out the 7-series’ notoriously lumpy ride quality.
The potent six-cylinder diesel engine – first seen in the M550d, X5 50d and X6 50d – allows the 750d xDrive to crack 0-62mph in just 4.9sec, and still return 44.1mpg combined economy and CO2 emissions of just 169g/km.
However, as with the M550d xDrive, UK buyers are unlikely to be able to be initially offered the 750d xDrive from launch as BMW does not sell the 7-series in the UK with all-wheel drive. But should the initially all-wheel drive 3-series models due by the end of the year be a success, BMW is open to bringing more models to the UK.
The ActiveHybrid 7 uses a more powerful version of the petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain from the smaller ActiveHybrid 3 and ActiveHybrid 5. This mixes a 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 349bhp and 369lb ft.
Petrol models in the 7-series range include the 255bhp 730i (highly unlikely to make it to the UK), 316bhp 740i, 443bhp 750i and the range topping, V12-powered 760i with 536bhp. On the diesel front, there’s the base 255bhp 730d and mid-range 308bhp 740d, as well as the range-topping 750d xDrive.
All 7-series’ now get rear air suspension as standard. The integral-V aluminium rear axle has been overhauled; it gets new ball joints, stiffer dampers, new rubber bearings and tuned elastokinematics designed to substantially reduce vibrations and increase ride quality.
Design design, the updated 7-series is distinguished from the pre-facelift by car chiefly by its new full-LED headlights, new front bumper and revised kidney grille. Inside, there are new leather seats for front passengers, the option of new individual seats for rear passengers and new 3D graphics for the front display screens.
730i – 255bhp – 229lb ft – 32.9mpg – 199g/km
740i – 316bhp – 332lb ft – 35.8mpg – 184g/km