Vijay Pattni25 May 2012

This is the brand new BMW 7-Series

Munich’s über-limo gets a minor facelift and that triple-turbo diesel that we still won’t get in the UK...

BMW 7 Series

This is the new BMW 7 Series. Yes, new. And the UK won't get the 750d xDrive, featuring the most interesting engine BMW currently builds: that triple-turbo straight-six diesel masterpiece.

We drove this engine in the M550d recently - a car we also won't get - and found it to be quite brilliant. It's a 3.0-litre six-pot diesel with three turbochargers strapped to its sizeable heft; the first spools up at just over idle, the second - a larger, higher pressure turbo - kicks in at 1,500rpm to provide lots of torques, while the third starts blowing at 2,700rpm.

The result is 381hp, 546lb ft of torque and a 0-62mph time of just 4.9 seconds. Oh, and 44.1mpg and emissions of just 169g/km of CO2.

Gallery: the new BMW 7-Series

Anyway, now that we've told you what you won't get in the UK, here's what you will: a 544hp, 6.0-litre V12 petrol in the 760i (0-62mph in 4.6 seconds), a 450hp petrol V8 in the 750i (0-62mph in 4.8 seconds), a 3.0-litre six-pot petrol in the 740i with 320hp, and a pair of diesels (3.0-litre producing 313hp in the 740d, and 258hp in the 730d).

There's even a Hybrid 7-Series, featuring the straight-six petrol from the 740i (320hp), together with an electric motor, lithium-ion battery and power electronics. Total power sits at 354hp and 369lb ft of torque, helping the ActiveHybrid 7 accelerate to 62mph in 5.7 seconds, while posting 41.5mpg and emissions of 158g/km. Though if and when we ever get it, this model might become redundant, what with that TRIPLE TURBO offering more or less the same economy. All are fitted with an eight-speed auto as standard.

Visually, the Seven gets a new set of LED headlights, a slightly larger chrome surround on the grille and a facelifted front apron, and some of the company's engineers appear to have taken on board Jeremy and James' concern over ride quality: they've fitted modified rubber bearings, new dampers, self-levelling air suspension, modified ball joints and "carefully tuned elastokinematics" that have helped onboard comfort levels.

Obviously, you get lots of toys to play with inside too; 10.25in screen, 3D graphics, 1,200-watt B&O system, and newly-designed seats.

Which is all fine and dandy, but could you really sleep at night knowing you might not ever taste the all-wheel-drive charms of that triple-turbo in something other than the X5 and X6?

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