Flagship sedan with two turbo-petrol, long wheelbase variants
Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC), the official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines, debuted on March 3 the new 7 Series at the Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig City, boasting it is probably the best car built by the German marque.
“Since 1977, BMW has been delivering ground-breaking innovations and setting new standards with our flagship BMW 7 Series,” said ACC president Maricar Parco in a speech. “From the electronic speedometer, to Park Distance Control, to the revolutionary iDrive operating system, all of which have become an industry benchmark for modern cars. This is truly a masterpiece from BMW, and probably the best car we have ever built.”
Prices for the all-new 7 Series start at P8.89 million for the 740Li, while the 750Li starts at P12.49 million.
Standard twin-turbo gasoline powerplants
The company said in a statement the new 7 Series will be available in two long-wheelbase variants: the 740Li and the 750Li. The former is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter, twin-cam, 24-valve, direct-injection inline-6 producing 326 horsepower and 450 Newton-meters of torque, while the latter gets a twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter, twin-cam, 32-valve, direct-injection V8 that makes 450 horsepower and 650 Nm of torque. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox with sequential-shift mode.
Parco said in an interview with Fast Times that ACC decided to primarily sell long-wheelbase, petrol-powered 7 Series models because their target customers, who mostly have chauffeurs, preferred the silence and smoothness of gasoline engines over the torque of turbodiesels. But she said buyers who want the short-wheelbase model and/or the twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter, twin-cam, 24-valve turbodiesel that produces 258 horsepower and 560 Nm of torque can get these as special orders.
Laser headlights, carbon-fiber passenger cell
The company said the new 7 Series is the first car in its segment to come with the option of laser headlights, named BMW Laserlight, which at 600 meters provides twice the high-beam range of LED headlights. The company also said the risk of dazzling other road users is mitigated by the BMW Selective Beam anti-dazzle Highbeam assistant. The system is standard on the 750Li and optional on the 740Li.
The jewel-like headlights complement the standard Design Pure Excellence exterior package, which adds chrome elements on the signature “kidney” radiator grill slats and the front air inlets along the lower front bumper. More chrome graces the side-window surround, which frames the flanks together with the chrome strip running along the bottom of the doors, emanating from the chromed Air Breather on the front fender.
The squared-off rear end is bracketed by the large LED taillights with a chrome strip running in between. More noticeable are the large twin exhaust pipes with additional chrome surrounds. The company said the 740Li comes standard with 19-inch, light-alloy wheels, while the 750Li gets 20-inch, light-alloy wheels.
Peel back any one of the two non-metallic or nine metallic paint finishes and you’ll find that the new 7 Series is made partly of carbon-fiber, which has dropped the weight by up to 130 kilograms compared to the previous generation. This is primarily because of a new chassis technology called Carbon Core, which was derived from the i8 hybrid sports car. Speaking to Fast Times, BMW product and pricing manager for Southeast Asia Laurent Jaegle said the material was used in the upper section of the passenger compartment.
Adaptive air suspension, rear-wheel steering
Take that entire body off and you’ll find more high-tech stuff underneath, starting with the self-levelling air suspension that has four driving modes that can be adjusted using the standard Driving Experience Control switch: Comfort; Comfort+; Sport; and Adaptive. The company said the ride height can be adjusted manually, allowing the 7 Series to be raised by 20 millimeters when driving along a rough stretch of road or climbing steep ramps. At speeds above 35 kilometers per hour, the ride height reverts to its standard setting.
Meanwhile, selecting Sport automatically drops the ride height by 10 millimeters when travelling at high speed, while Adaptive mode matches the car’s set-up to the prevailing driving conditions by getting data from movements of the accelerator and steering wheel, along with whether the gear selector is in the D or S position. In addition, the company said for models fitted with the Navigation system Professional, map data is also taken into account like when switching from urban driving to the motorway, driving along winding roads or when approaching a road junction.
Working with the air suspension is the Executive Drive Pro active chassis-control system, which is standard on the 750Li and optional on the 740Li. The company said this integrates active roll stabilization that limits body roll in high-speed cornering and adjustable anti-roll bars that allow the suspension system the greatest possible freedom of movement for increased comfort. In addition, the system features an anticipatory chassis-control function that gets data from driving-style analysis readings, the navigation system and a stereo camera.
On the rear axle, the company said the new 7 Series gets a refined version of the Integral Active Steering system that steers the rear wheels to provide more driving stability, safety and comfort. Driving at under 60 kph, the front and rear wheels steer in opposite directions to reduce the turning circle and ensure every corner is taken with precision. But above 60 kph, the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction to ensure more stability at higher speeds.
Lounge seating, tablet controls
Stepping inside that Carbon Core cockpit, the palatial interior contrasts the restrained exterior. All 7 Series come standard with the Design Pure Excellence interior package that uses Exclusive Dakota leather trim for the 740Li and Exclusive Nappa leather trim for the 750Li. The company said this includes extended features in Ivory White, among other colors, with contrast stitching, fine wood interior trim elements in American Oak and a full leather surface for the instrument panel and door panels in Atlas Grey with contrast stitching. The lower section of the instrument panel comes in matching colors of choice.
The new BMW 7 Series comes standard with 4-zone climate control, electrically adjustable comfort seats with active seat ventilation and massage function for all seats. The 750Li also has the Executive Lounge package, which allows the rear passenger-side occupant to stretch out a la recliner chair at the touch of a button.
While at the back seat, occupants can tinker with the BMW Touch Command, which is a 7-inch removable tablet that controls comfort functions like seat adjustment, interior lighting and air conditioning, as well as the infotainment, navigation and communication system. The company said the tablet can also be used to play external audio and video files, as a games console or for surfing the Internet.
Ambient lighting, gesture control
The company said the tablet also controls the standard Ambient light, which illuminates the instrument panel, the door beltlines, the map pockets on the front seat backs and the footwells. Passenger can choose six different colors variants for the lighting effects, which can be also be selected in the iDrive menu.
Speaking of iDrive, the system now comes with a touchscreen display to complement the controller knob. In addition, Gesture Control debuts on the all-new 7 Series, which can control infotainment and telephone functions by making hand movements under a sensor in the rear-view mirror. The system also controls the 1,400-watt, 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround-sound system that comes with the 750Li or the Harman Kardon surround-sound system for the 740Li.
The 7 Series also comes standard with a two-section Panorama glass roof with an opening front section. Exclusive though to the 750Li is the Sky Lounge Panorama glass roof that has LED modules spread evenly throughout the glass surface that create the effect of a starlit sky. As with the Ambient light, there is a choice of six different colors.
Meanwhile, another feature unique to the BMW 750Li is the Ambient Air package, which ionizes the air and injects fragrance into the cabin, both of which can be controlled from the air-conditioning control console or the iDrive menu. The company said three levels of intensity can be set for the fragrance and that two of eight available scents can be applied in the vehicle at the same time.
Surround View, Display Key
For safety, the all-new BMW 7 Series comes standard with Surround View, which includes a rear-view camera, Panorama View, Top View and 3D View. Cameras at the front and back of the exterior mirrors provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle.
In addition to the simple depiction of the driving space to the rear, Top View offers the driver a look over the door and the lane area to the car sides for more convenient maneuvering. In 3D View, a computer-generated, three-dimensional view is shown for an even better overview when parking. Meanwhile, the company said Panorama View makes navigating in areas with low visibility safer because a digital camera on the front of the car captures the traffic situation in front of the vehicle, enabling early detection of oncoming traffic so that the driver can react appropriately.
To wrap up the tech-fest, the BMW Display key shows various information about the vehicle’s status – time, remaining fuel and current range, service notifications, as well as the status of the central locking system, the windows and the glass roof – and allows selected functions to be controlled via the integrated touch display. The company said the key also controls the auxiliary heating and can be charged wirelessly or with the included USB cable.