WHITE KNIGHT: The new BMW 7 Series is packed with enough exciting technology that will showcase systems for other models in the stable in the near future.Image:BMW
MUNICH , Germany - The pinnacle of BMW's sedans has been the 7 Series, now in its sixth generation, this new model has to be greener, lighter and more sophisticated. Built under the codename G11, this new model takes the fight squarely to its fiercest opposition.
With rivals from Mercedes' S-Class and Audi's A8, it begs the question: Can the 7 Series retains it's sporty underpinnings or will the technology mute what Munich would still call a drivers car?
It's scheduled for launch in South Africa in January 2016.
All engines will be mated to a probably super-smooth 8-speed automatic gearbox. The new 7 will utilise two petrol options initially: a 740i which has three-litre turbo six-cylinder producing 245kW/450Nm and a 4.4-litre V8 330kW/650Nm in the famous 750i.
Chauffeurs who prefer piloting government ministers in an oil burner can choose from a 195kW/620Nm 3-litre six cylinder. According to BMW, it will sip, on the combined cycle, just 4.5l/100km.
For the millionaire greeny, BMW offers a 740e: a plug-in hybrid which uses a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to churn out 240kW between the two. An electric-only range of 40km is quoted by the German’s.
The 7-Series is the carmakers limousine and to cater for those needs will be built like previous models in standard and long-wheel base. While the South African line-up has not been confirmed yet, European buyers can order a 740i and 730d with xDrive all-wheel drive.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2016 BMW 7 Series
BMW will trade punches with Mercedes-Benz’s Magic Ride Control, the Munich version is called Dynamic Damper Control which can be joined (optionally) by Executive Drive Pro system. The technology uses active roll stabilisation and a data-based predictive system to keep the car level in the corners and make sure the ride is as smooth as a billiard table.
SMITHEREENS OF TECH
As on all BMW’s, drivers can change between driving modes, an updated version of iDrive is available which can be navigated via a touchscreen or by using the circular control located on the lower centre console.
Let’s be honest, the 7-Series will not be driven by its owners. The best place to be is in the back pews, look forward to four-zone climate control, fold-out tray tables and enough space to house small army.
Feeling bored at the back? Why not just remove the 7-inch tablet (touch command system: BMW speak) and surf the net while also having access to the cars infotainment.
VIDEO: 2016 BMW 7 Series
Don’t forget the massaging seats which are standard on the Executive Lounge pack. The 7-Series’ party trick is the Sky Lounge Panorama roof that imitates the night sky with LED’s which imparts a beautiful night sky look on the glass roof.
Trust the new 7-Series to debut a world first: the car can manoeuvre in or out of forward-parking spaces or garages without anyone at the wheel. Pretty cool to use in tight parking spots. (I'm sure we'll attempt this when we have the car on test). The driver initiates the car’s progress forwards into or in reverse out of a space using the key.
First to the sedan version of any BMW or in its segment: the 7 Series features Laserlight, ala i8. Thanks to a system called selective beam, the light is dazzle-free and is an alternative to the standard full-LED headlights.
The laser headlights generate a particularly bright, pure white light as well as providing a high-beam range of 600m, double that of the LED headlights.
EXECUTIVE BARGE: The 760Li (long-wheel version) is the flagship of the range and therefore BMW's ultimate sedan. Image:BMW