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Sunday, 14 June 2015

The BMW 7 Series slims down, techs up

BMW is finally pulling the wraps off its sixth-generation7 Series. The flagship boasts a ton of improvements for 2016, including a smattering of onboard tech and weight reduction of 190 pounds.

The luxury saloon gets an evolutionary look and a host of new technology to take the fight to the current Mercedes S-Class. The overall design appears similar in execution to the older model, but the front-end receives a larger kidney grille and new LED headlamps that stretch towards it. The side profile is near-identical to before, bar an L-shaped chrome strip that runs the length of the bottom of the doors.

The 7 Series uses a new internal structure called Carbon Core. Derived from thei sub-brand, Carbon Core uses a mix of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and ultra-high-tensile steel for the 7's major structural components. It's largely responsible for the 190-pound weight reduction, along with the aluminum doors and trunk lid. The weight savings has allowed BMW to maintain a fifty-fifty weight distribution.

That new structure underpins the largest sedan BMW has ever produced. At 206.6 inches in total, the long-wheelbase-only 7 Series is over an inch longer than its predecessor. Its 124.6-inch wheelbase and 74.9-inch width, though, remain unchanged. Even with such a modest increase in size, BMW is claiming best-in-class rear legroom, at 44.4 inches – a tenth of an inch more than the current 7. Unlike the old car, though, this new 7 Series gets with the times in terms of chauffeur equipment. The front passenger seat can be slid forward and folded, allowing a lucky rear passenger to take advantage of the new pop-out footrest and optional 42.5-degree seat incline, available as part of the Rear Executive Lounge Seating Package.

Three engines will be available from launch in Europe; a 261bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine in the 730d, a 321bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol in the 740i and a 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 with 445 hp on tap in the 750i xDrive...Who doesn't love the sound of horse powers n cylinders!

Joining the 740i and 750i is the new 740e xDrive. The plug-in-hybrid sedan is motivated by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder and an electric motor, and is capable of 23 miles per charge and speeds of up to 75 miles per hour in pure electric mode.

Tthere's no shortage of tech on the latest 7 Series. While we're familiar with some items, like active grille shutters and BMW's Air Breather system, it's items like the gesture-control-equipped iDrive 5.0 that pique our interest. Alongside the new and standard touchscreen, iDrive now adds a number of 3D sensors that respond to pre-programed hand motions. BMW doesn't say much about the oversized key fob, which is rumored to be able to park the car without a driver in the car, anyway you'll never know until you try.

SOURCE: autoblog

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