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BMW’s new 7 Series limo debuts bold new looks and cinema screen

BMW’s electrifying new 7 Series luxury limo has been launched on an epic scale with its own giant cinema screen – and a tantalising choice of main features.

Also of epic proportions is the new grille design used for the flagship Seven, which is already splitting opinion with car fans and devoted Beemer customers – as well is the new placement for the registration plates front and back.

While the looks might not be to all tastes, the selection of green powertrains should keep everyone happy, from the most devoted eco zealot to drivers wanting to cling on to internal combustion engine.

Customers can choose between an exciting new £107,400 super-quiet, all-electric i7 arriving in December with a claimed range of up to 388 miles – or stick with a petrol plug-in hybrid option that will be sold to Britons from a later date. But there won’t be a diesel option at all…

Seventh heaven: This is the new BMW 7 Series, which debuts bold new looks, a cinema screen and an electric version costing £107,000 (pictured)

Two petrol plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models – the 490hp 750e xDrive and 571hp M760e xDrive – join the range from Spring next year, with a powerful flagship 660hp electric BMW i7 M70 xDrive arriving later in 2023 to provide ‘exceptionally sporty performance’.

The PHEVs all use a new eight-speed Steptronic transmission that is making its global debut.

BMW said: ‘The new BMW 7 Series introduces an advanced drivetrain that – for the first time – brings plug-in electrification to every model sold in the UK.’

Despite its attention-grabbing gadgets, it's the controversially bold grille that is sparking the most debate. To say it's bigger than before is an understatement - it looks like it could swallow the tarmac, not drive over it

Despite its attention-grabbing gadgets, it’s the controversially bold grille that is sparking the most debate. To say it’s bigger than before is an understatement – it looks like it could swallow the tarmac, not drive over it

Placement of the registration plate up front is now much lower than before, and at the rear it no longer sits between the brake lights, dropping from the boot lid to the bumper. It's certainly a departure from what we've always known for the Seven

Placement of the registration plate up front is now much lower than before, and at the rear it no longer sits between the brake lights, dropping from the boot lid to the bumper. It’s certainly a departure from what we’ve always known for the Seven

The BMW 7 Series has always been a big beast - and the new generation model has grown all round. It's increased by 130mm in length to 5,391mm, by 48mm in width to 1,950mm and by 51mm in height to 1,544mm

The BMW 7 Series has always been a big beast – and the new generation model has grown all round. It’s increased by 130mm in length to 5,391mm, by 48mm in width to 1,950mm and by 51mm in height to 1,544mm

But no diesels are being offered in the UK as BMW says there’s no demand for them as the government moves to outlaw the sale of new pure petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. 

A 3.0-litre 740d diesel is being offered on mainland Europe while petrol and mild hybrid variants are being offered in other markets such as the Americas and Asia – but not in Europe where green legislation is biting.

Will it fit in my garage? New BMW i7 

Price: from £107,400 On sale: Now

First deliveries: December 2022

Length: 5391mm (+130mm compared to previous-gen)

Width: 1950mm (+48mm)

Height: 1544mm (+51mm)

Wheelbase: 3,215mm (+5mm)

Power source: Pure electric

Drive: All-wheel from two electric motors – one on each axle

Total power: 544horsepower

0 to 62mph: 4.7 seconds

Top speed: 149mph (electronically limited)

Electric range: 367 to 388 miles

Charging: 106 miles of range to be added in just ten minutes using fast charger

If electric is your thing, the i7’s full-charge range of up to 388 miles will get you comfortably the 300 miles from London to Newcastle, but leave you short and needing a top-up charge if you wanted to make the 400 miles to Edinburgh. 

However, BMW says that a 10 minute boost with a fast charger will add 106 miles.

Powered by two electric motors – the one driving the rear wheels generates 313hp while front axle unit produces 258hp – they together deliver a combined maximum output of 544hp which allows the new BMW i7 xDrive60 to accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 4.7 seconds.

BMW says: ‘The virtually silent, instantaneous power delivery of the BMW i7 xDrive60, and the luxurious sense of driving comfort this instils, are further helped by improvements to the electric drive units’ acoustics, a model-specific mounting concept and newly developed noise encapsulation for the electric motors. ‘

It adds: ‘The extremely slim high-voltage battery with a cell height of just 110mm is located low down in the vehicle floor and provides 101.7 kWh of usable energy.’

The ‘Combined Charging Unit ‘in the BMW i7 xDrive60 allows AC charging at a rate of up to 11 kW, while DC power can be taken on board at a rate of up to 195 kW. This allows 106 miles (WLTP) of range to be added in just ten minutes at a high-power charging station.

Like its predecessors, the new BMW 7 Series will be built at BMW’s Dingolfing plant in Bavaria, which is also a key centre for its electric battery technology.

Environmental campaigners should note that BMW says the motors in its fifth-generation electric powertrain do not contain any ‘rare earth’ materials and that the battery cells have been manufactured using ‘green energy’. Use of recycled and sustainable materials has been significantly increased and the BMW i7 uses accents in BMW i Blue to advertise its green credentials.

Bigger – and arguably uglier – than before 

The BMW 7 Series has always been a big beast – and the new generation model has grown all round. 

It’s increased by 130mm in length to 5,391mm, by 48mm in width to 1,950mm and by 51mm in height to 1,544mm. 

The wheelbase is also now 5mm longer at 3,215mm which BMW says helps further enhance seating comfort in the rear. Headroom has also been noticeably improved, it says.

It is available exclusively in long-wheelbase form in either M Sport or Excellence specification, and the range comprises models from both the BMW i and BMW M brands.

Two petrol plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models - the 490hp 750e xDrive and 571hp M760e xDrive - join the range from Spring next year, with a powerful flagship 660hp electric BMW i7 M70 xDrive (pictured) arriving later in 2023

Two petrol plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models – the 490hp 750e xDrive and 571hp M760e xDrive – join the range from Spring next year, with a powerful flagship 660hp electric BMW i7 M70 xDrive (pictured) arriving later in 2023

Mild-hybrid petrols will be available in the US, but not the UK. And while mainland Europe will have a diesel option, Britons won't be able to get their hands on a 7 Series with an oil-burning powerplant under the bonnet

Mild-hybrid petrols will be available in the US, but not the UK. And while mainland Europe will have a diesel option, Britons won’t be able to get their hands on a 7 Series with an oil-burning powerplant under the bonnet

Automatic opening of front and rear doors is available for the first time on the 7 Series, and the boot can also open and close without a human needing to touch the panel

Automatic opening of front and rear doors is available for the first time on the 7 Series, and the boot can also open and close without a human needing to touch the panel

The attention grabbing gadget may well be the giant rear screen, but the controversially bold grille is what most people are talking about. To say it’s bigger than before is an understatement – it looks like it could swallow the tarmac, not drive over it.

And that’s not the only style feature that’s sparked debate.

Placement of the registration plate up front is now much lower than before, and at the rear it no longer sits between the brake lights, dropping from the boot lid to the bumper. It’s certainly a departure from what we’ve always known for the Seven.

We will keep our verdict on its looks to ourselves – it’s up to you to decide if you like it or not.

As you would expect from a flagship BMW limousine, the materials are all high-end. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is a new design for this car

As you would expect from a flagship BMW limousine, the materials are all high-end. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is a new design for this car

Buyers can choose this optional 31.3-inch 8K 'BMW Theatre Screen' that drops down from the car's ceiling, and runs on Amazon Fire tablet software

Buyers can choose this optional 31.3-inch 8K ‘BMW Theatre Screen’ that drops down from the car’s ceiling, and runs on Amazon Fire tablet software

'As the Theatre Screen moves into position, the sun-blinds for the side windows, rear window and panoramic glass sunroof are closed and the ambient lighting in the rear compartment is dimmed

‘As the Theatre Screen moves into position, the sun-blinds for the side windows, rear window and panoramic glass sunroof are closed and the ambient lighting in the rear compartment is dimmed

The biggest feature inside the new 7 Series are the displays.

Up front, the driver binnacle and main screen are a single unit that floats across the dashboard.

However, the standout tech is in the back, with an optional 31.3-inch 8K ‘BMW Theatre Screen’ that drops down from the car’s ceiling, and runs on Amazon Fire tablet software. 

There are built-in touch screen remotes in the door panels and an automated rear shade system that closes when the theatre screen is turned on. 

Rear passengers can stream videos, play games, listen to music, get information, and watch downloaded programmes such as live sports, news and movies as they travel in style. They can also take pictures from the interior camera and have them sent to their smartphone.

If the standard standard-fit Bowers & Wilkins 18-speaker hi-fi isn’t enough you can link it with the firm’s 36-speaker, near-2,000-watt Diamond Surround Sound version.

As befits any movie epic, Hollywood film composer Hans Zimmer has had a hand in it. The car firm notes: ‘The BMW Theatre Screen is revealed to the accompaniment of a sound composition created exclusively for this purpose as part of the collaboration between the BMW Group and renowned film score composer and Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer.

‘As the Theatre Screen moves into position, the sun-blinds for the side windows, rear window and panoramic glass sunroof are closed and the ambient lighting in the rear compartment is dimmed. The sequence unfolds to a choreography developed with a sharp eye for detail, bringing all the functions and digital content together into an all-encompassing user experience.’

The luxurious new interior design and innovative comfort features create lounge-like atmosphere in the rear.

Multifunction seats are standard while an ‘Executive Lounge’ trim is optional. Reclining seats with leg rests, active seat ventilation and a massage function are also available for the rear compartment. Four-zone automatic climate control fitted as standard. A panoramic glass sunroof is fitted as standard and there’s an an optional ‘Sky Lounge’ panoramic glass sunroof.

Automatic opening of front and rear doors is available for the first time on the 7 Series, and the boot can also open and close without a human needing to touch the panel.

Customers can order their 100% electric i7 Series today, with first deliveries from December. The plug-in hybrids will follow in 2023

Customers can order their 100% electric i7 Series today, with first deliveries from December. The plug-in hybrids will follow in 2023

Up front, the driver binnacle and main screen are a single unit that floats across the dashboard. It is a touchscreen display that can also be controlled using the i-Drive rotary function in the centre console

Up front, the driver binnacle and main screen are a single unit that floats across the dashboard. It is a touchscreen display that can also be controlled using the i-Drive rotary function in the centre console 

Keeping up with the Mercedes S-Class 

Without question, the 7 Series’ biggest competition remains the Mercedes S-Class, which gulfs it in terms of sales in the UK. 

If BMW wants to compete with its German rival’s flagship limo, the Seven needs lots of tech – and it does.

Optional Iconic Glow crystal headlights create an all-new light effect using crystals from Swarovski –arranged in L-shapes and each backlit by 14 LED units – to perform the role of sidelights and daytime driving lights. 

They also lay on a visually expressive ‘Welcome’ and ‘Goodbye’ sequence.

Adaptive two-axle air suspension with electronically controlled dampers allows the height of the body to be adjusted to suit the driving situation. It automatically drops by 10mm in Sport Mode. BMW M and M Sport models have bespoke chassis technology.

It’s packed with safety features including front-collision warning, pedestrian and cyclist warning and lane departure warning.

Customers can order their 100 per cent electric i7 Series today, with first deliveries from December. 

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BMW’s new 7 Series limo debuts bold new looks and cinema screen Source link BMW’s new 7 Series limo debuts bold new looks and cinema screen

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