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BMW’s New 7 Series Has a Grille Big Enough to Make Your Mercedes Jealous

There’s a functional reason for the 2020 edition's sixth-gen luxo-barge’s gaping maw.

BMW 2020 7 Series, front. BMW

BMW’s flagship of luxury got a serious face-lift. The 2020 7 Series has a slew of new additions for the sixth generation, but the most polarizing feature has to be the enlarged kidney grille, some 40 percent bigger than the outgoing model, per the press materials. There’s an engineering reason behind the size: improved engine and brake cooling. While it’ll take a little time to settle into the new look, at first glance, one can’t help being reminded of Mercedes-Benz’s iconic Panamericana grille, a key design staple that’s now adorning the noses of all Tri-Stars.  

Under that hood, customers can select from a few drive packages. Nearly all of the 7 Series will come with xDrive, BMW’s all-wheel-drive system, but the base 740i will be offered in rear-wheel drive. There’s a plug-in hybrid power train available on the 745e xDrive that syncs with the 3.0-liter inline-six for a total of 389 hp and 442 ft lbs of yank. Other options include a 4.4-liter V-8, and a 6.6-liter V-12—found in the range-topping M760i—which have 523 and 600 hp, respectively. All are turbocharged. The standard eight-speed gearbox gets a refresh, boasting wider gear ratios and new controls for buttery smooth shifts.

BMW 2020 7 Series.

BMW 2020 7 Series  BMW

Flourishes to the cabin see an infotainment screen running updated iDrive 7 software, and reconfiguration of the climate-control and driver-aid buttons bring them within arm’s reach. While the 7 Series was always a quiet experience, BMW pushed the sound-deadening envelope further, addressing tire noise in the wheel wells and beefing up the glass windows.

Much of the front end is new, too, including the hood and front fenders, to help with aerodynamics and to meld with the aesthetic of the increased grille. It looks stately, thanks to a long wheelbase and short overhangs, and it’s got plenty of BMW DNA oozing through the muscular lines.

We’ll have to wait until the April launch to hear the U.S. pricing, but assume the 2020 BMW 7 Series will start around $80,000 and leap north quickly when various options are selected.

 

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