BY THE END of the year, expect to see a revamped version of BMW’s flagship 7 Series go on sale here.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class rival will receive minor styling changes with new full LED headlights, a new front grille design with nine slats (instead of 12), aero tweaks and smatterings of extra chrome.
The facelifted car’s interior will also get variable-colour lighting, and other improvements like a new multi-functional instrument panel with hi-res 3D graphics, an advanced Bang and Olufsen sound system, and new seats. Many of these will be cost options, but we’ll unravel the final spec as the data becomes available.
Most notably, the new 7 Series range will be given BMW’s eight-speed automatic gearbox as found in the 1, 3 and 5 Series, an improvement from the existing six-speed auto. That should enable the cars to accelerate more quickly but use less fuel.
Start-Stop tech is being added, and interestingly a new feature for the car’s EcoPro fuel-sipping setting is its ability to slip into a freewheeling mode between 50km/h and 160km/h – ease off the throttle and the car disconnects the engine, allowing you to coast for much greater distances than with engine braking involved.
BMW’s engineers have also said that they’ve fine-tuned the chassis, mostly for the sake of ride comfort. There are new rubber bushes and ball joints, and different dampers. Expect improved isolation from road surfaces as a result. Self-levelling rear suspension will become standard equipment.
All 7 Series models currently sold here are long-wheelbase models, and if the status quo persists, the entry model will be the 730Li.
It retains its 2,996cc in-line six-cylinder engine with 258bhp and 310Nm of torque, but with the eight-speed auto, acceleration to 100km/h will be slightly quicker, at 7.5 seconds (versus 7.8 with the current six-speeder). Rated fuel consumption improves to 11.5km per litre (up from 10.2km/L today).
Likewise, the 740Li keeps its 3.0-litre, six-cylinder turbo engine, tuned for 320bhp and 450Nm of peak torque. It’ll hit 100km/h in 5.7 seconds (versus 6.0 now) but will actually be less thirsty than the 730Li, delivering nearly 12.7km per litre.
The 750Li will be the first BMW to get a revised 4.4-litre V8 turbo that offers – what else – more oomph with less gulp: 450bhp and 650Nm (up from 407bhp and 600Nm now). Consequently, acceleration to 100km/h speeds up to 4.8 seconds – quick enough to let it stick to the back of a Porsche 911! Drive it gently enough though, and you’ll get nearly 11.9km per litre.
The flagship V12 760Li doesn’t receive drivetrain changes, and with the 750Li soon to be so close in performance, it’ll remain a niche seller here.
Prices aren’t out yet of course, but we don’t expect major changes in that area, COE situation aside.
Text: courtesy of CarBuyer