Updated 7 Series Has More Tech Than Ever Before
We Like: Its punchy powertrains, slick transmission, high-tech gadgets.
We Don’t Like: The numb steering, high-tech gimmicks.
The ghost of Chris Bangle still haunts BMW. The exterior design of the new 7 Series, though beautifully executed, is conservative and evolutionary. Bigger than an S-Class, the new 7 looks smaller and lacks its commanding on-road presence. Inside is the most sumptuous BMW interior ever, beautifully finished and tastefully rendered. “The interior is incredible and I hope that translates to future BMWs,” Scott Burgess said. “There was lots of great technology, from all of the driver-assist features to the gesture controls for the stereo and phone.”
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The 7 Series chassis team’s starting proposition was “The Ultimate Driving Machine, plus comfort.” BMW deployed advanced technologies such as active anti-roll bars, air suspension, and transmission calibrations that can adjust to driver input and information on the road ahead from the sat-nav system. “To be fair, this is an absolutely fantastic car at the very pinnacle of modern transportation,” said Ed Loh.
The 445-hp, 4.4-liter V-8 punches hard and delivers a lot of top-end bite. The performance of the 320-hp B58 six-cylinder engine in the 340i suggests it will be more than adequate powering the 740i. We won’t see the most interesting powertrain in the new 7 until next year, when the 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid model arrives. It will feature a 2.0-liter, turbo I-4 and an electric motor integrated into the eight-speed auto. BMW claims 23 miles of EV operation at up to 75 mph (121 km/h).
With the new 7 Series, BMW has taken aim at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Per Seabaugh: “There’s no denying that it’s better than before. It’s quicker, handles better, rides better, is dead quiet on the oval. Effortless acceleration, quick shifting. Planted. This is where the 7 is most at home. A road-going cruise missile.”
|2016 BMW 750i xDrive (M Sport)|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$127,546|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||4.4L/445-hp/480-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||206.6 x 74.9 x 58.2 in|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||4,832 lb (47/53%)|
|ACCELERATION, 0-60 MPH||4.3 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||12.7 sec @ 111.9 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||113 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.88 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||25.4 sec @ 0.75 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||16/25/19 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||211/135 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||1.02 lb/mile|