BMW has revised its 7 Series executive saloon, just three years after its initial launch.
Among the changes are a range of new engines, interior fine-tuning, dynamic developments and, importantly, enhancements to the exterior styling.
In the UK, the biggest seller in the range is the 730d, accounting for 56 per cent of total 7 Series sales. The 730d engine has been extensively revised and it now benefits from an all-aluminium cylinder block that reduces the weight of the engine by 25kg. As a result of this weight reduction and BMW’s new third-generation common rail diesel technology (that includes piezo-injectors, a faster and more efficient form of injection), power is increased by 12 per cent to 228bhp at 4,000rpm while torque is four per cent higher at 520Nm, developed between 2,000 and 2,750rpm.
The 730i now features the new lightweight 3.0-litre magnesium aluminium composite engine recently unveiled in the 630i and 330i. The new powerplant delivers 258bhp at 6,600rpm, up 12 per cent compared with its predecessor, and 300Nm of torque at 2,500 – 4,000rpm, while economy improves by nearly 5 per cent to 28mpg.
The new BMW 740i replaces the previous 735i with a 4.0-litre V8 engine developing 302bhp at 6,300rpm and 390Nm of torque at 3,500rpm. This represents an output increase of 13 and eight per cent respectively over the 735i, with a combined consumption of 25.2 (a slight 0.9 per cent improvement).
The 745i is currently the world’s best selling 7 Series model. This model now becomes the BMW 750i, featuring an all-new 4,799cc engine. Delivering 362bhp at 6,300rpm and 490Nm at 3,400, the zero to 62mph sprint is dispatched in 5.9 seconds, with economy rated at 24.8mpg on the combined cycle.
The pinnacle of the 7 Series range continues to be the 760i, with its 5,972cc V12 engine delivering 445bhp at 6,000rpm and 600Nm of torque at 3,950rpm. This ensures that the car achieves a zero to 62mph time of 5.5 seconds – only 0.3 seconds longer than the high-performance M3 Coupé, a car that weighs 595kg less.
The car’s chassis has also been updated to manage the additional performance with changes to ensure the new car offers improved steering precision, agility and ride quality. The all-aluminium suspension has been updated and now benefits from a 14mm wider track to deliver greater stability. Customers can now specify two separate optional suspension choices.
The Sport model is for those who appreciate a more sporting and agile drive. The Adaptive Drive package combines BMW’s Dynamic Drive active anti-roll bar and Electronic Damper Control (EDC) system. Dynamic Drive converts body roll during cornering into hydraulic pressure to deliver a near-flat cornering experience. EDC offers three separate ride settings – Comfort, Normal and Sport.
Externally, there is a new headlamp and bumper design, changes to the kidney grilles and the enhancement of the power dome on the bonnet. The rear gets modified tail lamps, bumper and a chrome strip running the width of the boot lid which, unfortunately, continues to appear to protrude like a sore appendage. BMW says the changes have the effect of narrowing the car from the rear view. There are bolder side sills, too, completing the exterior changes.
There are four new exterior paint colours – Monaco Blue, Michigan Blue, Deep Green and Barbera Red – and three leather upholstery finishes – Cream Beige, Lava Blue and Nature Brown alongside a range of new 18 and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, BMW’s iDrive system has been revised to make it more user friendly and to assist navigation with improved menu guidance to move between the eight areas of the Control Display.
In addition, the standard specification of all 7 Series models has increased. All cars now feature xenon headlamps with a headlamp cleaning system and all models benefit from Brake Force Display, BMW’s two-stage brake light system. Also, all cars specified with the navigation system and a car telephone come as standard with BMW Assist, the emergency service that uses the navigation system to pin-point the car (SE models feature navigation as standard).
The revised 7 Series makes it appearance at dealerships in the spring, with prices starting at £47,500 for the 730d rising to £58,980 for the 740i Sport.