BMW has announced the latest version of its flagship executive cruiser, the 7 Series, which will take on the new Mercedes S-Class. It will go on sale from the 24th of October priced from £65,530.
The new BMW 7 Series comes in two versions, standard and extended. The latter is 14cm longer, making it the largest series-produced car the German manufacturer has ever built and better for long-legged folk.
Although bigger, the new 7 Series is up to 130kg lighter than its predecessor, depending on the model you go for. This is thanks to the use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic and aluminium in conjunction with ultra-high-tensile steels.
A number of powertrains are available, including the 326hp 740Li petrol, which is 7hp more powerful than the outgoing engine and a 3.0-litre 730Ld diesel, which has 265hp (also 7hp more powerful) and 620Nm of torque.
There are also two plug-in hybrids, a 740e and 740Le xDrive, both comprising a 2.0-litre petrol and an electric motor that give a total output of 326hp. Fuel economy is a claimed 134.5mpg, while CO2 emissions are 49g/km so it’s free to tax.
Top speed is 75mph on electric-only (149mph usually), while the range is 25 miles or 23 miles for the xDrive variant. Both hybrids are mated to an eight-speed Steptronic transmission and have Auto Start Stop and Brake Energy Regeneration to reduce running costs.
Bumps are soaked up by standard two-axle self-levelling air suspension, which can be used to manually increase the ride height by 20mm up to 22mph. Beyond that and its reverts to the standard level. Sport mode, meanwhile, lowers it by 10mm at high speeds.
Like other Bimmers, its iDrive infotainment system comes with navigation as standard. A few extra pennies gets you Gesture Control, the first car from BMW to do so. This allows you to adjust the volume without touching a button, among other things.
Luxury extras are numerous, including a fragrance system, next-generation head-up display, Heat Comfort package for a hot steering wheel and armrests and a massage function with eight programs and three levels of intensity. There’s even a Vitality Programme, which helps you revitalise your body on long journeys.
Those who really want to push the boat out will be able to spec the Executive Lounge Seating (expected to arrive in July 2016), which lets you recline the backrest by up to 42.5 degrees and comes with a rear console comprising a fold-out table, two cupholders and more storage space.
Still not feeling special enough? You could opt for the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system, which is powered by a 1,400-watt 10-channel amplifier and pumped through 16 partially-illuminated speakers.
Buyers can choose between seven non-metallic and nine metallic paintjobs unless you go for the M Sport package, which has two extra variants and includes M Sport bodystyling, 19-inch M Sport alloys and a more sporty interior.
The new BMW 7 Series will go on sale on the 24th of October, 2015. The 730d is the entry-level model, ranging to the top-of-the-range 740Ld xDrive, which starts from £76,010. A price for the two hybrids is yet to be confirmed.