BMW has introduced the new generation (6th) of its top-end 7 Series, featuring technology innovations in the areas of lightweight design, powertrains, chassis, operating systems, and intelligent connectivity. The all-new BMW 7 Series will be offered in the US exclusively as a long wheelbase version.
Key factors in enhancing dynamics, efficiency, comfort and safety are the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the body structure; engines from the BMW Group’s new generation of power units; the plug-in hybrid system in the new BMW 740e; the Executive Drive Pro active chassis system; the Driving Experience Control switch with ADAPTIVE mode; and BMW Laserlight.
Innovations in operating system and driver assistance technology include the extension of the iDrive system to include a touch display and BMW gesture control, as well as Touch Command, the new BMW Head-Up Display, crossing traffic warning, the steering and lane control assistant, active side collision protection, Surround View with 3D View and the Remote Control Parking system.
BMW EfficientLightweight.: BMW EfficientLightweight helps to reduce the weight of the new BMW 7 Series models by up to 130 kilograms (287 lbs) compared to their previous-generation counterparts. The body structure features the Carbon Core, a product of the transfer of technology from the development of BMW i cars. The new BMW 7 Series is the first car in its segment in which industrially manufactured CFRP combines with steel and aluminum. The intelligent body concept uses this mixed-materials approach to increase the strength and rigidity of the passenger cell while at the same time significantly reducing vehicle weight.
|7 Series body-in-white / carbon. Click to enlarge.
The lightweight design concept additionally entails the use of aluminum for specific sections of the body and chassis along with the systematic improvement of smaller details. Apart from the doors, the trunk lid is also made from aluminum for the first time. With lightweight design measures at the wheel suspension, brakes and wheels, it was possible to reduce the unsprung masses that are so decisive for the chassis set-up by as much as 15%.
Lightweight joining technologies were employed together with near-source thermal and acoustic shielding for the engine, which enables the overall volume and therefore the weight of the insulating material required to be reduced. The innovative insulation concept has the additional effect of further improving acoustic comfort.
As a result of this lightweight design approach, the vehicle’s center of gravity is now even lower and the load is distributed 50 : 50 between the two axles for perfect balance.
Engines. The engine line-up available at the launch of the new BMW 7 Series range is spearheaded by a V8 unit that has undergone extensive redevelopment, boasting a displacement of 4.4 liters and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with the turbochargers located in the V-shaped space between the banks of cylinders. It now comes equipped with TwinScroll turbochargers featuring flow-separated, bank-specific exhaust manifolds made from thin-wall castings.
Together with an increase in the compression ratio from 10.0 to 10.5 and the variability in the gas-exchange cycle brought about by the VALVETRONIC and Double-VANOS technology, this has resulted in a major improvement in engine efficiency.
The optimized cooling concept with separate flows through the cylinder heads and cylinder barrels combines with a coolant pump the map-controlled throughput of which can be restricted to as little as 10% to warm up the engine faster and cut energy consumption.
This is also the first time that the intake manifold has been partially integrated into the cylinder head in a production car, thereby allowing flow resistance to be decreased, flow volume to be increased and the exterior packaging dimensions to be reduced. As a result of all these modifications, the efficiency factor of the 330 kW/450 hp 8-cylinder engine has been greatly improved, which in turn means a significant reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.
The six-cylinder in-line engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology fitted in the new BMW 7 Series range stem from the BMW Group’s latest generation of engines. The 3.0-liter gasoline unit in the BMW 740i and BMW 740Li produces an output of 240 kW/326 hp, 5 kW more than the engine it replaces. The new power unit’s crankcase, cylinder head and oil sump are all made from aluminum. The TwinScroll turbocharger features an indirect system of charge air cooling that is incorporated into the intake manifold and works in unison with High Precision Direct Injection, the very latest version of VALVETRONIC and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. Not only has the efficiency of the new straight-six engine been increased, its response is even more spontaneous as well.
The diesel unit powering the BMW 730d and BMW 730Ld models is also 3.0 liters in size and likewise boasts a 5 kW increase in output, in this case to 195 kW/265 hp, combined with superior efficiency. Peak torque is now 620 N·m (457 lb-ft). The six-cylinder diesel engine also offers an unprecedented level of acoustic comfort. What’s more, fuel consumption and emissions are considerably lower as well thanks to a reduction in weight, improved thermodynamics for the turbocharging system with VNT technology and a new common-rail direct injection system whose piezo injectors now generate a maximum pressure of 2,500 bar. The new diesel models in the BMW 7 Series line-up are available with xDrive as an option.
Plug-in hybrid BMW 740e. BMW is introducing three variants of the 740e plug-inn hybrid: the BMW 740e, the BMW 740Le and the BMW 740Le xDrive. The intelligently controlled interaction between a 2.0-liter gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric drive unit integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic transmission endows the BMW 740e with dynamic acceleration on the one hand and noticeably lower consumption and emissions figures in everyday driving on the other.
While producing a total system output of 240 kW/326 hp, the luxury sedan returns a combined fuel consumption of 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers (112 mpg US) in the BMW 740e and BMW 740Le (BMW 740Le xDrive: 2.3 liters / 102 mpg US) or a combined electric power consumption of 12.5 kWh (BMW 740Le xDrive: 13.0 kWh).
CO2 emissions come in at 49 grams (BMW 740Le xDrive: 53 grams) per kilometer (provisional EU test cycle figures for plug-in hybrid vehicles, may vary depending on the tire format specified).
The energy for the electric motor is drawn from a lithium-ion high-voltage battery housed underneath the rear seat where it is well-protected in the event of a crash. It can be recharged by connecting to any standard domestic power socket or a BMW i Wallbox, as well as at public charging stations. The eDrive button on the center console lets the driver adjust the hybrid drive’s operating mode.
In the AUTO eDrive basic setting, the engine’s power is boosted to notable effect by the electric drive when accelerating or during quick bursts of speed. With the MAX eDrive mode engaged, meanwhile, the BMW 740e and the BMW 740Le are able to run purely on electric power at speeds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph) and for a maximum range of 40 kilometers (25 miles, BMW 740Le xDrive: 37 km / 23 miles).
The driver is also able to select the Battery Control mode, which raises or maintains the high-voltage battery’s state of charge as required. In this way, electrical power can be deliberately conserved for all-electric driving later in the journey. Whenever route guidance is active in the navigation system, the predictive power management function calculates a journey-specific strategy for electric driving through to the entered destination.
The standard specification for the BMW 740e, BMW 740Le and BMW 740Le xDrive furthermore includes an auxiliary heating and ventilation system, which is powered by electricity from the high- voltage battery or from the mains supply while charging.
Eight-speed Steptronic transmission.: The standard-fit eight-speed Steptronic transmission serves to further boost efficiency with its wider ratio spread, reduced weight and optimized efficiency factor. A new transmission control system furthermore makes for more comfortable shifting and allows the transmission to be linked up with the optional Navigation system Professional.
The navigation-data-based shift strategy means that the gear selection can be adapted to the driving situation and the route profile even when route guidance is inactive. The shift characteristics are adjusted in accordance with the selected driving mode, so that the emphasis can be placed on both driving comfort and sportiness.
An eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel is available as an option. Besides more dynamic shifting, this also features a Launch Control function for accelerating away from standstill with maximum power and optimum traction.
Features such as Brake Energy Regeneration and the Auto Start Stop function provide more efficient energy management. Activating the ECO PRO mode with the Driving Experience Control switch allows use of the coasting function, which decouples the powertrain in overrun phases while travelling at speeds between 50 and 160 km/h (31 – 100 mph). This mode’s range of functions—which are now individually programmable for the first time—additionally include efficiency-oriented operation of comfort functions, efficiency tips, as well as the Route-ahead Assistant, which gives recommendations for an efficient driving style based on the navigation data.
Dynamics. The standard specification includes 2-axle air suspension with automatic self-levelling and Dynamic Damper Control. Further enhancing comfort, dynamics, poise and assurance are the latest update of the Integral Active Steering system, which can now be specified in conjunction with BMW xDrive, and the Executive Drive Pro system with active roll stabilization and data-based predictive function, which is available for the first time.
Electromechanical anti-roll bars reduce body roll under dynamic cornering and the active chassis control system adapts the dampers’ responses to ruts and bumps in the road.
The latest wave of innovations offer drivers greater freedom when selecting the set-up for their car; they can opt for even sportier handling or further improved ride comfort, or use the higher-efficiency ECO PRO mode. ADAPTIVE mode can now also be activated via the newly designed Driving Experience Control switch. In this setting, the car set-up adapts to driving style and route characteristics.
Touch display and BMW gesture control. In the new BMW 7 Series the iDrive operating system’s monitor comes in touch display form for the first time. This means customers will also be able to operate the system in the same way as modern electronic devices. In addition to using the Controller to control the system in familiar style, its functions can also be selected and activated by touching the screen’s surface.
Another new addition to the iDrive system’s functionality is BMW gesture control, which is being introduced for the first time. Hand movements detected by a 3D sensor control infotainment functions in an extremely intuitive and user-friendly fashion. The gestures can be used for a number of functions, including controlling the volume in audio applications and accepting or rejecting incoming telephone calls. There is also the option of pairing a specific gesture with an individual choice of function. Also joining the fray is a new smartphone holder integrated into the center console, which allows wireless, inductive charging for mobile phones for the first time in a car.
Remote Control Parking. The new BMW 7 Series is the world’s first series-produced car that owners will be able to maneuver in or out of forward-parking spaces or garages without anyone at the wheel. As such, the Remote Control Parking option allows drivers to access tight parking spaces with ease. The driver initiates the car’s progress forwards into or in reverse out of a space using the likewise newly developed BMW Display Key. While the car is carrying out the semi-automated maneuver, the driver watches out for obstacles.