In the old days, to lead its division a luxury sedan had to offer quality finishes, generous spaces, and utmost comfort. Today, this combination must also include a high level of technology, something that BMW seems to have understood. The Munich-based brand has introduced the sixth generation of its 7 Series sedan, which competes with the S-Class Mercedes-Benz and Audi A8 for the attention of the most demanding customers and to lead among German limousines.
The innovations start from the manufacturing process, through a lightweight building method based on plastic reinforced with carbon fiber. As a result, the new 7 Series weighs 280 lbs. less than its predecessor. Other developments include the new two-axle air suspension, optional Integral Active Steering and an additional Executive Drive Pro chassis control system, all aimed at optimizing ride comfort. Review our selection of luxury automobiles.
But most striking on the new 7 Series is the two pioneering technologies introduced by BMW. The first is the intelligent control of the information and entertainment systems, which allow the driver to handle the various functions with simple gestures. The other is the revolutionary technology of parking the car from the outside, thanks to the remote control integrated to the BMW display key, featured for the first time in a mass-produced model.
Also, the functions of the Driving Assistant Plus system have been equipped with a variety of driver assistance, consistent with BMW’s philosophy of "semi-automatic driving." For these reasons, the maximum comfort will not be reserved only for the rear passengers, but also for those behind the wheel of this luxury sedan.
This extraordinary car is available in two versions with different lengths: the small model is 17 feet long, and the larger, at 17.16 feet, is the longest model in the history of BMW. When it launches in October 2015, the new BMW 7 Series will be available in three engine versions. The 4.4-liter 750i will have a petrol engine capable of delivering a maximum strength of 450 hp and between 5,550 and 6,000 rpm combined with the xDrive all-wheel drive. Another version comes with a diesel engine, and you can choose between the 3.0-liter 730d with 265 hp and rear wheel drive. This release is also available with four-wheel drive.
BMW will also launch a "plug-in" hybrid version shortly. It will compete with similar models introduced last year by Mercedes-Benz in the current generation of its S-Class, a pioneer within the luxury sedan segment. New BMW Hybrid.
Although BMW will start marketing the new 7 Series beginning next July, the first units of the sixth generation will not reach the market until October. The starting price has not been revealed yet, but surely will cost over $75,000—the price of the current model. ■
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