The sixth-generation BMW 7 Series made its world debut this month in Munich, and the new sedan is packed with cutting-edge technology and significant improvements that bring it to parity with its formidable rivals at Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
The 2016 BMW 7 Series weighs 190 pounds less than its predecessor, thanks to extensive use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), the same material used on BMW’s i8 plug-in hybrid and i3 electric car. The doors and trunk lid are made of aluminum.
Two gasoline-powered models are headed to the United States this fall: the 740i, which starts at $81,300 and is powered by BMW’s 320 hp, 3.0-liter, turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, and the all-wheel-drive 750i xDrive, priced at $97,400. The latter is fitted with a redesigned, twin-scroll-turbocharged V-8 engine that produces 445 hp. Both 7 Series models use an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Styling updates include active shutters on the front grille, which stay closed for better aerodynamics, then open when the engine needs extra cooling. An M Sport package adds more aggressive front and rear aprons, side skirts, and 19- or 20-inch, M-specific wheels. Past BMW 7 Series models were available in both standard- and long-wheelbase versions; but this time around, the United States will only get the longer body style. Compared with the last generation 7 Series, the new car is more than an inch longer and about the same length as the current-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
In the cabin, the 7 Series employs the latest version of BMW’s iDrive interface with a new touchscreen. Gesture Control technology allows users to tap and swipe in the air instead of pushing buttons. There is also more of a focus on rear-seat comfort, with options that include heat, ventilation, and massage, as well as a panoramic roof fitted with LED lights that create a starry-sky effect. An Interior Design package adds wood inlays, plush rear floor mats, and an Alcantara headliner. (bmwna.com)