3 February 2005

Three-and-a-half years after its introduction, the controversial BMW 7-series has been given a thorough makeover and a new range of in-line six-cylinder and V8 petrol and diesel engines. Up front, there are curvy new headlights, a larger grille, a new bonnet that’s set 20mm higher, and a revised bumper with chrome highlights.

At the rear, BMW’s designers have incorporated a restyled bootlid that sits 3mm higher and now carries a chrome strip intersecting with larger tail lamps. There’s also a deeper rear bumper, chunkier side sills and new wheel designs in either standard 18-inch or optional 19-inch format. As a sign of the rapid pace of engine development at BMW these days, the only engine that survives from today’s model is the 760i’s 439bhp 6.0-litre V12.

It will be joined by BMW’s latest 3.0-litre inline six with 254bhp in the entry level 730i. A new 4.0-litre V8 delivers 302bhp (34bhp up on the 3.6-litre V8 it replaces). Also new is a 4.8-litre V8 with 362bhp in the 750i – up by 34bhp on old 4.4-litre V8.

BMW has upgraded the 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel with piezo injectors (which give greater fuel efficiency) and a third-generation common-rail system. It provides the 730d with 228bhp and 384lb ft – up by 13bhp and 15lb ft. Not yet confirmed for the UK is the 745d 4.4-litre V8 diesel offering 300bhp and 516lb ft– 42bhp and 74lb ft more than than the old V8. All versions get ZF’s six-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

An extra 14mm is added to the rear track and the rear suspension is revised. BMW claims the changes imbue the rear-wheel drive Seven with improved handling and enhanced high-speed stability. Buyers can choose either a standard suspension, Adaptive Drive (with electronic damping control and Dynamic Drive) or Sport suspension.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 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
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals