In looks, the BMW 7 Series differ ever so slightly from the previous generation. It now comes in two versions (standard and M Sport package), with extended all-round dimensions: wheelbase 140mm longer, at 3,210mm, 5,098mm in total length (long-wheelbase version: 5,238mm), 1,902mm in width (excluding mirrors) and 1,478mm (1,485mm) in height. The new dimensions makes the 7 Series the largest series-produced car the Munich-based marque has ever built.
From the front, the new BMW 7 Series radiates a feeling of assured presence. It is BMW’s first car to feature an Active Air Stream kidney grille, improving aerodynamics as well as making a strong visual statement. The headlight units extend up as far as the grille, while the light graphic of the familiar twin circular headlights is levelled off at its upper and lower edges. With the Design Pure Excellence package, the front foglights can be fitted with additional chrome strip up top, as well as high-gloss back-painted brake calipers and chrome strip for the rear apron. M Sport package gives a more aerodynamic appeal to the 7 Series with these offerings: front/rear aprons and side skirts, illuminated door sill finishers bearing the M logo and accents in either light or dark chrome.
Viewed in profile the new BMW 7 Series is defined by outward curving surfaces and a double swage line. The wrap-around window frame, taking in the Hofmeister kink, is a single-piece element for the first time in a series-produced variant, while the Air Breather surround in the front side panel spawns a chrome trim strip which runs along the lower edge of the doors, emphasizing a low center of gravity. The exterior mirrors appear to grow organically out of the window frame, a slender stalk providing the sole connection between mirrors and car body. From the rear, the double swage line extends into the upper contour of the body and the light strips of the rear LED lights.
Depending on the versions, the new BMW 7 Series comes as standard with either 18- or 19-inch light-alloy wheels, while the options list and BMW Accessories range offer a selection of other light-alloy wheels in 18- to 21-inch sizes. M Sport 7 Series gets 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design.
Interior-wise, the BMW 7 Series exudes an ambience that’s classy, modern and luxurious. All the control and display elements share a new design that highlights their innovative functionality, such as the chrome buttons on the multifunctional steering and center console, and the touchscreen surface for the control panel of the Automatic air conditioning with 4-zone control. The standard multifunctional instrument display with a 12.3-inch display area alters the graphics and color scheme used for the cockpit gauges to match the mode selected with the Driving Performance Control switch.
Meanwhile, the generous levels of space on board are highlighted by a horizontal surface structure that extends through the door trim. Customers can choose from six color variants for the standard Exclusive Nappa leather upholstery. Among the numerous interior highlights for the 6th-gen 7 Series include Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system, front massage seats, rear seats with Vitality Program, Executive Lounge Seating (later in 2016), removable 7-inch tablet at the rear, standard Ambient lighting, optional Ambient Air package, optional Sky Lounge Panoramic glass roof, optional roller sunblindsan Alcantara headliner, fine wood inlays for the seat belt outlet covers, armrest and roof grab handles in the rear, as well as deep-pile floor mats for the rear compartment (option). Moving on up to the M Sport package, the 7 Series receives BMW Individual headliner in Anthracite and Fineline black wood interior trim strips with high-gloss metal effect. Finally, ConnectedDrive suite and boot space of 516 liters (420 liters for the hybrids) are standard features.
There are three engine types for the new 7 Series, including the 6-cylinder petrol, diesel units and two hybrid versions. The petrol powerplant for the 740Li comprises the 3.0-liter that’s able to churn an output of 326hp, 7hp more than the engine it replaces. The 3.0-liter diesel units powering the BMW 730d and BMW 730Ld boast output of 265hp, again 7 hp increase from previous 7 Series, and a peak torque of 620Nm. Lastly, the hybrids 740e and 740Le xDrive, powered by a 2.0-liter and electric drive, push up to 326 hp and returns fuel consumption of 2.1l/100km (134.5mpg) in the guise of the BMW 740e or a combined electric power consumption of 12.5 kWh. Emissions are kept honest at a decent 49g/km. All engines are fitted with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission, which contributes to further efficiency savings with its wider ratio spread, reduced weight and optimized calibration.
Features such as Brake Energy Regeneration and Auto Start Stop ensure highly efficient energy management for the 2016 BMW 7 Series. Activating the ECO PRO mode with the Driving Performance Control switch allows use of the coasting function, which decouples the powertrain in overrun phases while travelling at speeds between 30 – 100 km/h.
The 6th-gen BMW 7 Series is available in two non-metallic and nine metallic body hues and slated for a late October roll-out in the U.K. at a starting price of 64,530 pounds. Customization for the 7 Series consists of BMW Individual options for exterior, interior, 20-inch V-spoke wheels and a new Almandine Brown metallic paintwork.