BMW details lighweight new 7 Series – Gizmag
In its quest for large car enlightenment, Bavaria’s finest engineers
have drawn on the lessons learned in producing the carbon-rich i3 and i8 to
try and save weight in the 7 Series. The
new car’s Carbon Core body construction integrates carbon fiber with aluminum
and high-tensile steel for greater structural rigidity – important structural
components like the B-pillars are made from high tensile steel, while the car’s trunk lid and doors are made up of aluminum.
These weight-saving measures, combined with lightweight
components in the wheels, suspension and brakes, contribute to weight loss of up
to 130 kg (286 lb) over the old 7 Series, as well as a lower center of gravity and a 15
percent reduction in unsprung mass.
While many owners may not even notice all the effort that’s gone into saving
weight in their 7 Series, they will definitely notice the improvements made to
the interior. Having introduced iDrive
in the fourth generation 7 Series, BMW has used its new flagship to debut
gesture control, which allows drivers to control infotainment functions like
audio volume or phone calls with just a wave of their hand.
Gesture control is something that manufacturers like
Volkswagen have toyed with in their concepts, but BMW is one of the first to
integrate it into its production models.
BMW is also offering buyers a raft of high-end
customization options. All of the buttons on the center console are framed by
aluminum or wood, and particular attention has been paid to improving the
quality of the driver’s touchpoints.
Rear passengers have been well catered for in the new 7
Series, too. An optional four-zone climate control system should eliminate
any complaints from fussy rear-seat passengers, while the Executive Lounge
option is perfect for cashed-up buyers who prefer to be chauffeured everywhere.
The passengers in the back are treated to a folding table, footrest, massage seats with three levels of intensity and an animated in-seat training program. BMW has included a removable 7-inch Touch
Command tablet to control the functions and programs, which works inside and outside the car.
Fans of James Bond will be particularly excited to know that
the new 7 Series can now be parked by remote control. Not content with auto-reverse
parking or parking sensors, BMW’s new 7 Series lets owners get out of their
cars and press a button on their key, resulting in the car driving itself straight into (or
reverse straight out of) the spot.
To stop the 7 Series being turned into a
giant, expensive remote control car, BMW’s system will only allow it to move a
few meters out of the spot before the driver has to jump in and take control.
The new 7 Series is also loaded to the
gills with features designed to make the driver’s life safer and easier. BMW’s
optional adaptive LED headlamps mold the beam around oncoming traffic, and
works in tandem with the Night Vision system to spotlight any objects that may
be hidden. Night Vision also shows an image of heat-radiating objects on an
in-dash display. i8-like anti-dazzle laser lights are also available.
The 7 Series range kicks off with the all-wheel drive 730d
xDrive, which produces 195 kW (265 hp) and 620 Nm (457 lb.ft) of torque – enough to propel
the 5.1-meter long (16.7 ft) luxury barge to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.1 seconds. If you
prefer your BMWs with a petrol engine, the range starts with the 740i, which
hits 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds thanks to its 240 kW (326 hp) and 450 Nm (332 lb.ft).
For those in search of a more economical option, BMW has
continued the expansion of its hybrid range with the 740e plug-in hybrid. Despite
its impressive 240 kW (326 hp) of power, the 7 Series hybrid will return a
scarcely believable 2.1 l/100km (135 mpg) on the combined cycle. With a claimed
maximum range of 40 km (25 miles) in pure electric mode, the 7 Series’ range is 10 km (6 miles) more
than the Mercedes S500 Plug In hybrid .
The most powerful option in the 7 Series range will be the
V8 750i, which is putting out 330 kW (450 hp) and 650 Nm (479 lb.ft).
All 7 Series’ will be built at BMW’s plant in Dingolfing. Each
7 Series model is available in regular or, more expensive, long-wheelbase
versions. BMW is yet to release details about pricing.
You can see BMW’s official launch film below.