While we’re still a few weeks away from the official unveiling of BMW’s flagship 7-Series sedan and the pictures continue to show a camouflaged car, we’ve been keeping our ear to the ground and have more details to share from Munich.
Even with a slew of other recent new products, the 7-Series is a hugely important vehicle in the BMW lineup. With several new entries into this category including the Cadillac CT6 and Lincoln Continental, as well as upgraded offerings from Mercedes-Benz and Audi, the competition in the full-size sedan market is heating up fast.
In an effort to stay at the front of the pack, BMW is loading the 7-Series with technology either transferred from the ground-breaking i8 or developed specifically for this vehicle. It starts with what BMW is calling the “Carbon Core,” a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic passenger cell that offers excellent structural rigidity while helping cut vehicle weight by nearly 300 pounds compared to the previous generation 7. Structural rigidity is the foundation of a great handling car and if how this technology is deployed in the i8 is any indication, the 7-Series will handle better than ever.
BMW is touting a new TwinPower Turbo in-line 6-cylinder engine that features an aluminum crankcase, cylinder head and oil sump. The TwinScroll turbocharger uses an indirect intercooler integrated into the intake manifold and teams up with High Precision Injection, the latest version of VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control for the intake and exhaust valves. With this new more responsive engine in a car that weighs significantly less, BMW promises significantly improved performance and efficiency over the previous generation.
BMW is also deploying new technology to try to win battle between driving dynamics and ride quality. Usually cars must lean on one side or the other of this line, but with its standard Driving Experience Control switch, the big Bimmer gives the driver the option of even sportier handling or further improved ride comfort. In a new first, by selecting Adaptive Mode, the car’s set-up automatically adjusts to your driving style and characteristics of your chosen road. Ride is also improved with the standard-fitted two-axle air suspension with automatic self-levelling.
Inside, technology is used to improve the iDrive interface with both touch display and gesture control. This will allow drivers to operate the system either with the traditional iDrive turn and press controller or via touch screen similar to an iPad. But BMW didn’t just stop there. Thanks to a 3D sensor in the center console, hand gestures can be used to adjust the audio volume and to accept or reject incoming telephone calls without touching the screen or controller. Users can also determine other functions to be activated by another pre-defined gesture such as navigation instructions to a home address or screen deactivation.
One of the more amazing new features is remote control parking. The new BMW 7-Series is the world’s first series-produced car that owners will be able to move in or out of parking spaces or garages without anyone inside the car. Using the newly developed BMW Display Key, the driver can prompt the car to enter or exit a parking space fully automatically as the above video demonstrates. For added safety, the maximum distance that can be covered by the car while parking driverless is 1.5 times the length of the car.
There are also a host of technology-based safety features embedded in the new 7-Series the Driving Assistant Plus system which includes front and rear collision prevention and cross traffic warning, adaptive cruise control, steering and directional control assistant with Traffic Jam Assistant, and Lane Departure Warning Assistant with active side collision protection. We’re looking forward to experience all of the new features when we get our hands on the wheel, and key fob, soon.