The new BMW 7-Series is set to reinforce its position as the most innovative sedan in the luxury segment. The flagship model series of the BMW fleet embodies sporting elegance, refined powertrain technology and luxurious comfort in equal measure. And now, by making a clear step up in terms of product substance, the Sedan is set to underline its leadership. New LED headlights, an upgraded interior with optimised soundproofing, markedly improved ride comfort, a comprehensive selection of optional equipment and state-of-the-art safety technology combine to create an in-car experience from the top drawer. A line-up of either new or optimised drive systems, including the world's most powerful six-cylinder in-line diesel engine and the second-generation BMW ActiveHybrid 7, set new performance and efficiency benchmarks.
The BMW 7-Series meets the highest global standards when it comes to aesthetic appeal and innovative technology. In the luxury sedan segment it represents the epitome of athletic elegance and a supreme driving experience. The upgraded BMW 7-Series reaffirms its stylish presence and sporting prowess in 2012 through expressive new design features at the front and rear. Its dimensions have changed only marginally, but its eight-millimetre drop in overall height imbues its sweeping lines with extra expression and emphasises the perfect balance of the car's dynamic proportions.
From the front, the long, broad bonnet of the BMW 7-Series gives it an elegant and expressive profile. The precise contour lines of the bonnet draw the eye to the upright new BMW kidney grille as they extend forward. The grille's chrome surround is now larger, a change which - together with a new slat arrangement (nine slats instead of 12) - gives it greater prominence and reinforces the car's presence on the road. With their elegant accent strip and hallmark BMW corona rings, the optional new full-LED headlights accentuate the unmistakable appearance of the BMW 7-Series.
The large, full-width air intake dominating the lower section of the modified front apron is now split into three sections, a pair of chrome bars marking its outer sections and adding further depth to the car's sporty looks. Two narrow vertical air intakes sit beyond even the LED foglamps to the left and right of the wide intake. These are included as part of the "air curtain" technology, which lowers fuel consumption at higher speeds by forcing the air to flow more aerodynamically around the front wheels. The design of the air curtain therefore represents a fine technological advertisement for the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy.
Hallmark BMW proportions, such as a long wheelbase, short front overhang, long, sweeping bonnet and set-back passenger compartment with a coupe-like roofline, define the sporting and elegant silhouette of the BMW 7-Series. A new design feature that stands out from the side is the indicator integrated into the lower section of each exterior mirror, which makes the car easier to see and therefore safer to drive.
The powerful rear of the BMW 7-Series exudes a feeling of sporting assurance. The horizontal lines and subdivision of the rear into several levels visually lowers the height of the car. The design of the brand's familiar L-shaped rear lights, linked by an eye-catching chrome strip, remains unchanged. They are, however, richer in contrast thanks to differing shades of red. A second, delicately sculpted chrome strip draws a visual connection between the two slim reflectors in the rear apron and gives the rear view a more exclusive and solid feel overall. Another slim chrome bar between the four chromed tailpipe embellishers in the rear apron is a distinguishing feature of the 12-cylinder flagship model.
The picture of stylish exclusivity and luxurious character is painted with equal clarity inside the new 7-Series. The interior possesses an undeniable air of quality and harmoniousness. Smoothly flowing forms, exquisite materials and stylish colour combinations determine the car's luxurious overall impression. Dakota leather and Nappa leather can now be ordered in Ivory White with the world colour Black and Veneto Beige with the world colour Veneto Beige. The outstanding build quality of the BMW 7-Series reflects the attention to detail of the car's creators, and evidence of the precise craftsmanship at work is striking.
A typical feature of BMW interiors is their unflinching focus on the driver - the way in which they gravitate ergonomically towards the person behind the wheel. In the new 7-Series, this includes the addition of newly designed, more slender front seats offering the best possible ergonomics, optimum lateral support and ultimate long-distance comfort. Sports seats and multifunction seats are also available in place of the standard items. The latter can be ordered with a folding table in the backrest or with the Rear Seat Entertainment package as an option. A brand-new feature are the 9.2-inch screens which, instead of being integrated into the front seats, appear to be "floating" on them. Their exclusive design takes its inspiration from the latest breed of flatscreen monitors, which gives them an extremely slight and lightweight look.
The new BMW 7-Series can be specified as an option with individual rear seats that can be adjusted to suit individual requirements. The backrest angle and seat position can both be varied, as can the position of the head restraints. The controls are the same as those for the front seats with memory function.
The long-wheelbase version of the BMW 7-Series provides the ideal platform on which to maximise long-distance comfort. All of the 140 millimetres added to the wheelbase of the standard-length 7-Series are used to lay on a calm and relaxed journey for the rear passengers in a first-class environment. Indeed, changes to the roofline of the long-wheelbase version create 10 millimetres of extra headroom in the rear.
The optimum interior soundproofing of the BMW 7-Series takes the on-board experience another step towards perfection. Additional insulation materials in the B and C-pillars, skirts and boot area team up with intricate sealing around the window frames and exterior mirrors to minimise driving noise. All of which brings the sound experience generated by the new Bang & Olufsen High End Surround Sound System even more powerfully to the fore. The 1,200-watt music system is hooked up to 16 speakers, some of which are positioned behind illuminated, satin-finish aluminium grilles sited in the mirror triangles of the doors and the parcel shelf. The most attention-seizing member of the speaker line-up is the illuminated centre speaker which extends out of the instrument panel and uses B&O Acoustic Lens Technology. Its distinctive form guarantees perfect sound quality in every seat. When the music system is switched off, the centre speaker retreats back into the instrument panel almost without trace. Meanwhile, the new ambient lighting for the interior creates a pleasant ambience, especially at night. Footwell lights for the driver and front passenger and indirect roof liner illumination via lights integrated into the B-pillars further enhance the feeling of well-being. The colour of the ambient light can be altered according to taste.
A particular highlight of the BMW 7-Series is the multifunctional instrument display, which makes its debut appearance on the options list. In place of the traditional instrument cluster - in which four circular analogue dials keep the driver informed of the car's speed, engine revs, fuel level and oil temperature -an almost seamlessly integrated 10.25-inch display provides a totally new and appealing screen experience consciously inspired by the looks of the latest electronic devices.
While the familiar format of four circular instruments is retained here, the extended black-panel technology hands the driver a whole new set of display options. For example, the display shows varying information and different colour and mood worlds in the COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO driving experience modes, ensuring greater safety and efficiency and demonstrating an exemplary focus on the driver. The information shown is tailored to the driving mode currently engaged and therefore changes accordingly. All of which means the display the driver sees in the instrument cluster is always the optimum one for the driving situation at hand.
While COMFORT mode brings a classic layout with four solid circular instruments, in ECO PRO and SPORT modes the rings open to offer additional space for extra information between the two instruments. In ECO PRO mode the display turns blue in colour and the rev counter morphs into an Efficient Dynamics display to show how efficiently the car is being driven. Here drivers can monitor how hard they have their foot on the accelerator, how much fuel the car is currently using and whether any energy is being recovered through recuperation. If they are pressing too forcefully on the accelerator, the full display turns grey and alerts them to the amount of fuel they are burning unnecessarily. A speedometer zoom function can also be activated in ECO PRO and COMFORT modes. This enlarges the position of the speedo needle as if a magnifying glass were being passed over it, making it even easier to see.
In SPORT mode the display takes on a signature BMW orange hue. This display mode purposefully retains a very puristic look and only shows the driver the most essential information, so that he can maintain maximum concentration on the road ahead. The speedometer shows the car's speed in digital form only with a large, centrally positioned figure, while the gear currently engaged is boldly displayed in the middle of the rev counter if the driver is shifting manually using the steering wheel paddles. As well as the changes in colour, the displays in the instrument cluster also deliver additional information tailored to the situation at hand - such as status and function updates, Check/Control messages and navigation instructions - which drivers can call up as and when they wish.
The introduction of the new multifunctional instrument display is accompanied by a technical and stylistic update for the central Control Display positioned between the driver and front passenger. A black surround lends the recessed 10.25-inch display additional visual depth, which has the effect of making it look even larger. Vertical electroplated bars border the screen to the sides and add extra visual flourishes which the electroplated surrounds for the cupholder lids carry over into the centre console.
The new BMW 7-Series is poised to strengthen its position even further as the most innovative sedan in the luxury segment. New and comprehensively revised engine variants set new standards in terms of performance and efficiency. All the engines available for the new 7-Series team up with an intelligent eight-speed automatic transmission and distinguish themselves with significantly reduced fuel consumption and emissions. The Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration and the second-generation Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode offer additional potential for fuel-saving. Carefully optimised suspension and Electric Power Steering for all rear-wheel-drive models also take driving comfort to a new level, while self-levelling air suspension for the rear axle likewise comes as standard on all models.
Alongside the flagship BMW 760i with 12-cylinder powerplant and the entry-level engine in the BMW 730i (not available in all markets), customers can choose from the new six-cylinder in-line unit powering the BMW 740i and the revised V8 petrol engine in the BMW 750i. The six-cylinder diesel engines in the BMW 730d and BMW 740d also offer drivers the combination of increased output and lower fuel consumption. Making its debut, meanwhile, is the new BMW 750d xDrive. Under its bonnet lies the new TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder diesel engine - the world's most powerful diesel engine of its kind. Rounding off the range is the second-generation BMW ActiveHybrid 7 with new six-cylinder in-line engine and significantly reduced emissions.
The V12 engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, direct petrol injection and continuously variable camshaft control represents the pinnacle of the BMW 7-Series engine range - no change there. The all-aluminium powerplant generates output of 400 kW/544 hp from its 5,972 cc displacement and makes peak torque of 750 Newton metres (553 lb-ft) available as low down as 1,500 rpm. That's enough to propel the BMW 760i effortlessly from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). With average fuel economy of 12.8 litres per 100 kilometres (22.1 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 299 g/km, this most cultured of power merchants achieves unprecedented efficiency for its output class.
The revised V8 petrol engine under the bonnet of the BMW 750i is making its debut. The 4,395 cc eight-cylinder powerplant retains the impressively smooth assurance and spirited power delivery of its pre-update days. However, optimised high-pressure direct injection and reduced charge cycle losses - thanks in the main to the seamlessly variable control of intake valve lift - have pushed its performance potential to a higher level than its predecessor and substantially reduced its fuel economy and emissions. In its latest development stage, the engine generates peak output of 330 kW/450 hp (+ 10 %) and unleashes peak torque of 650 Newton metres / 479 lb-ft (+ 8.5 %) between 2,000 and 4,500 rpm. The engine teams up with the eight-speed automatic transmission, allowing the BMW 750i to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.8 seconds and progress on to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The eight-cylinder engine belies its improved performance with better efficiency than ever; with overall fuel consumption of 8.6 litres per 100 kilometres (32.9 mpg) and CO2 emissions recorded at 199 g/km, the BMW 750i trumps its less powerful predecessor by a clear 25 per cent. In the Chinese market, the BMW 750i is powered by a 4-litre variant of the engine offering 300 kW/408 hp and 600 Newton metres (443 lb-ft) of torque.
The 3-litre six-cylinder in-line engine stands out with its majestic power and unparalleled high-revving character. The state-of-the-art powerplant is one of the first wave of highly efficient petrol engines to bring together BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, twin-scroll turbocharging, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic variable valve timing. Peak output of 235 kW/320 hp and a maximum 450 Newton metres (332 lb-ft) of torque on tap as low down as 1,300 rpm make this ultra-refined engine the performance equal of the outgoing BMW 740i. However, fuel economy in the EU test cycle is an impressive 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres (35.8 mpg) while CO2 emissions of 184 grams per kilometre represent a 21 per cent reduction in its predecessor's output.
This proven 3-litre straight-six petrol engine develops, as before, 190 kW/258 hp and maximum torque of 310 Newton metres (229 lb-ft) at 2,600 rpm. Linking up with the new eight-speed automatic transmission allows the BMW 730i to exploit additional fuel-saving potential; average fuel economy stands at 8.6 litres per 100 km (32.9 mpg), while CO2 emissions of 199 grams per kilometres are 13 per cent below the level recorded by its predecessor working with a six-speed transmission.
The brand-new top-of-the-line diesel powerplant under the bonnet of the BMW 750d xDrive provides fresh evidence of BMW's pre-eminence in the area of engine technology. The world's most powerful six-cylinder in-line diesel engine grabs the headlines with its innovative and unique technology, and imbues the luxury sedan with impressive dynamics and outstanding efficiency.
The remarkable TwinPower Turbo technology at the heart of the six-cylinder unit works with three turbochargers and a further developed common rail injection system for the first time in order to optimise the engine's output, torque and responsiveness. The precisely coordinated management of the turbochargers ensures that the 3-litre high-performance diesel engine develops imposing pulling power across the full rev range - and all with an exceptionally high level of efficiency. The first charger starts work at just over idle so the combustion chambers can be supplied at an early stage. At 1,500 rpm a larger high-pressure turbo kicks in to help the engine reach its maximum torque. Finally, the third turbocharger joins the fray at 2,700 rpm and ensures particularly impressive power delivery until maximum revs are reached. Piezo injectors spray the fuel into the combustion chambers at up to 2,200 bar, with three pre-injections, one main injection and four post-injections of fuel during each power stroke ensuring efficient and clean combustion.
This enviable engine technology enables the six-cylinder in-line powerplant to produce maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp and impressive peak torque of 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft) from as low down as 2,000 rpm, endowing the BMW 750d xDrive with extraordinary thrust. Indeed, the Sedan races from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in only 4.9 seconds. The engine's vast reserves of power also give it a compelling elasticity. Equally impressive as its performance capability, however, are the efficiency benefits of the BMW diesel technology on board; the Sedan posts fuel economy of 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres (44.1 mpg) in the EU test cycle, which means CO2 emissions are also suitably low at 169 g/km. Plus, BMW BluePerformance technology enables the new flagship diesel to meet the EU6 exhaust gas standard comfortably ahead of time.
The permanent, electronically controlled all-wheel drive of the BMW 750i xDrive ensures the power from this range-topping diesel finds its way safely onto the road at all times by dividing engine power between the front and rear wheels in response to the situation at hand. The system's precision and rapid responses help give the Sedan stable and dynamic driving characteristics even under demanding conditions.
The rigorous further development of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology has also given the dynamics and efficiency of the familiar six-cylinder in-line diesel engine a boost. At 230 kW/313 hp, the maximum output of the 3-litre six-cylinder diesel is five kilowatts higher than its predecessor's, while peak torque of 630 Newton metres / 465 lb-ft (+ 30 Nm / 22 lb-ft) comes on stream at 1,500 rpm. Added to which, thermodynamic optimisations sharpen the diesel model's responses and enhance its agility. Linking up with the new eight-speed automatic transmission, the more powerful BMW 740d manages to record even lower fuel consumption of 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres (49.6 mpg) to go with CO2 emissions of 149 g/km. That's a 17 per cent improvement on its predecessor.
Another round of fuel consumption and emissions reductions sees the BMW 730d building on its position as the world's most economical luxury sedan with the lowest emissions. Peak output of the 3-litre six-cylinder diesel engine, whose construction mirrors that of the engine in the BMW 740d, has increased by 10 kilowatts to 190 kW/258 hp. And its maximum torque has also risen to 560 Newton metres / 413 lb-ft (+ 20 Nm / 15 lb-ft). However, average fuel economy of 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres (50.4 mpg) in the EU test cycle and CO2 emissions of just 148 g/km allow it to outperform its predecessor - married to a six-speed automatic transmission - by 17 per cent. Specifying the engine with the optionally available BluePerformance technology equips it to meet the EU6 standard.
BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive makes the BMW 7-Series Sedan an even more attractive proposition. In addition to the typical benefits of all-wheel drive, the electronically controlled xDrive system - which can vary the power distribution between the front and rear wheels with split-second speed - ensures top-class traction, safety and handling, and optimal power management whatever the weather and road conditions. The system has been set up to deliver greater agility and precision through corners as well, offers an ideal combination of dynamism and comfort, and provides the perfect basis for a refined driving experience.
As BMW continues to push ahead with the development of intelligent hybrid drive systems, the second generation of the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 is set to celebrate its premiere in 2012. The updated model sets itself apart with lower fuel consumption and emissions, as well as innovative auxiliary functions. This latest evolution stage uses a six-cylinder in-line engine displaying impressive high-revving characteristics, torque and efficiency. The cutting-edge petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology is the 235 kW/320 hp variant of the unit fitted in the new BMW 740i and replaces the eight-cylinder engine used up to now. Other hybrid components include the 40 kW/55 hp synchronous electric motor, the hybrid-spec eight-speed automatic transmission, a lithium-ion high-performance battery and power electronics underpinning intelligent energy management. The various components come together into a powerful and harmonious whole, giving the new BMW ActiveHybrid 7 exceptional dynamics and an outstanding balance between performance and fuel economy - and not only in relation to its predecessor.
With system output of 260 kW/354 hp and peak torque of 500 Newton metres (369 lb-ft), the new BMW ActiveHybrid 7 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.7 seconds. At the same time, the Sedan posts average fuel economy of 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres (41.5 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 158 g/km. That means the more powerful hybrid technology uses some 14 per cent less fuel than a BMW 740i with a conventional drive system.
A host of innovative functions are involved in enhancing the car's dynamics and achieving the excellent efficiency of the overall system. For example, the electric motor hands the six-cylinder an extra 210 Newton metres (155 lb-ft) of torque through the boost function, should the driver need to nail a quick sprint or call on some hard mid-range acceleration. In addition, Brake Energy Regeneration, the Hybrid Start Stop function, ECO PRO mode with coasting function and proactive analysis - to prepare the car's drive system in advance for upcoming situations on the road - ensure the available energy is used as efficiently as possible (more details in the "BMW EfficientDynamics" chapter). The new BMW ActiveHybrid 7 can also run purely on electric power. If the hybrid battery has sufficient charge and the driver goes easy on the accelerator, the car can cover a distance of up to four kilometres (just under 2.5 miles) almost silently and without producing any tailpipe emissions. The top speed possible using electric power alone is 60 km/h (37 mph).
For the year 2012 BMW is fitting all 7-Series models with the extremely effective eight-speed automatic transmission previously reserved for the BMW 760i, BMW 740d xDrive and BMW ActiveHybrid 7. Its additional ratios allow the gearbox to combine unbeatable shift comfort and efficiency, while at the same time aiding the dynamic qualities of the BMW 7-Series Sedan. With its intelligent control technology, the eight-speed transmission boasts extremely fast shift and reaction times and direct downshift capability. The electronic transmission controller can also alter the shift characteristics as required, to cater either for a more sporty or for a more relaxed, fuel-saving driving style.
Despite a larger overall spread, eight ratios mean that the spacing between them is smaller, so that the optimal ratio is available in virtually all situations. The close ratios deliver refined and powerful acceleration as well as smooth and fuel-efficient low-rpm operation. Altogether, then, as well as providing dynamic acceleration and smooth shifting, the new eight-speed automatic also allows drivers to maintain a very economical driving style.
Dynamic performance, ride comfort and active safety are again among the stand-out qualities of the BMW 7-Series Sedan in the year 2012. Sophisticated chassis technology plays a key role here, providing the ideal partner for the refinement and power of the drive systems. A host of measures give the ride comfort of the Sedan a noticeable boost. Complementing the optimised chassis set-up - with modified rubber bearings and new dampers - and the self-levelling air suspension for the rear axle, Electric Power Steering is a standard feature of the models with rear-wheel drive. State-of-the-art electronic control systems with likewise retuned software help to enhance the long-distance attributes of the BMW 7-Series Sedan and ensure that the new edition of the car makes travelling on board even more pleasurable in terms of both dynamics and comfort.
The front axle of the BMW 7-Series Sedan is based on the familiar aluminium double-wishbone construction combining maximum rigidity and minimised weight. The patent-protected integral-V rear axle of the BMW 7-Series Sedan is also made from aluminium. The use of modified ball joints, stiffer hydraulic dampers, new rubber bearings and carefully tuned elastokinematics has allowed the engineers to minimise vibrations and therefore bring about a perceptible improvement in onboard comfort levels. By effectively cutting the link between the road surfaces and the drive system, the rear axle also allows the driver and passengers to enjoy excellent acoustic comfort and impressively low vibrations.
All BMW 7-Series models are now kitted out with high-comfort rear axle air suspension, which keeps the car riding at a constant height no matter what kind of driving conditions it encounters and regardless of the loads you have on board. This automatic self-levelling suspension responds to any change in load by adjusting the suspension at the relevant wheel. This means that only small interventions are required in response to spring movements caused by road imperfections and cornering tilt.
The compound braking system with lightweight, inner-vented swing-calliper disc brakes provides outstanding deceleration in any situation and brakes the Sedan to a standstill in a very short space of time, even from high speeds. In so doing, the system also offers extremely high resistance to fade as well as unbeatable braking comfort. The braking system is backed up by various state-of-the-art electronic safety systems which are integrated into the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) package and assist the dynamic performance and active safety of the luxury sedan to equal effect. DSC incorporates the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), along with Start-Off Assistant, brake drying and an electronic limited slip function for the rear differential, which can be activated using the "DSC Off" button.
The BMW 7-Series is the world's first car to come with an electronically controlled damping system whose dampers are adjusted at each wheel individually according to the condition of the road surface and driving style. The compression and rebound settings are adjusted continuously and independently from one another. For example, a stiff chassis setting can be combined with comfortable responses to unevenness in the road surface. The damper settings can be pre-set by the driver using the Driving Experience Control switch. Optimised software tuning improves ride comfort while also giving agility an extra boost.
The Dynamic Drive roll stabilisation system available for the BMW 7-Series reduces, among other things, body roll in high-speed corners and under sudden changes in direction. Sensors calculate the amount of body roll and this is then counteracted quickly and precisely by rotary actuators in the front and rear axle stabilisers. The Sedan's steering behaviour and load alteration effect are also adjusted as required in this way. This system allows drivers to thread the car through corners with even greater agility and precision.
The new BMW 7-Series not only sets a new dynamic benchmark for luxury cars, it also raises the bar in the class when it comes to ride comfort. The driver can alter the overall character of the Sedan towards greater sportiness or comfort using the Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode. The distinction between the different driving modes is now even more pronounced. The Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode is part of the standard specification for all models, with the exception of the BMW 760i.
Using the Driving Experience Control switch, the driver is able to customise accelerator response characteristics, engine response, power steering characteristics and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) thresholds. Added to which, the Servotronic function, Integral Active Steering, the automatic transmission and Dynamic Damper Control are integrated into the system too. Using the simple-to-operate rocker switch on the centre console, drivers can choose between ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes. Each of these predefined set-ups activates different settings for the relevant powertrain and chassis components. The clear ground between the various modes means the differences between them are now more easily perceptible. If the Integral Active Steering option has been specified, COMFORT+ mode is also available. This mode gains rear passengers, in particular, another noticeable increase in ride comfort.
Another button allows the driver to change the DSC settings. Selecting TRACTION mode, for example, makes it much easier to pull away on loose surfaces or in deep snow. In this mode, as well as in SPORT+, the Dynamic Stability Control thresholds are raised and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is activated. It is also possible to switch off DSC altogether.
The new ECO PRO mode, meanwhile, helps the BMW 7-Series driver to maintain an extra-efficient and economy-conscious driving style. It does this by changing the accelerator mapping so that the same pedal travel delivers less power than in the standard mode. Also in this mode, the transmission control strategy for the automatic gearbox is modified to bring forward upshifts and delay downshifts, while intelligent energy and climate management reduces mechanical power consumption and also the energy consumption of electrical systems such as heated mirrors and seats.
But the biggest factor influencing fuel consumption figures is the driver's own personal driving habits. That is why electronic systems provide tips and incentives on how to develop a more economy-conscious driving style for the situation at hand. Special displays in the instrument cluster let the driver know by how much the driving range is being extended and indicate his fuel consumption history. In ECO PRO mode, average fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 20 per cent, with a corresponding increase in driving range. Extended functions include the new coasting mode (with ECO PRO selected), plus proactive analysis of the driving situation and the subsequent advance preparation of the drive components (in the BMW ActiveHybrid 7). Both functions offer additional potential for fuel saving and are described in greater detail in the "BMW EfficientDynamics" chapter.
All new BMW 7-Series models - with the exception of the xDrive variants - come equipped with Electronic Power Steering (EPS), which uses an electric motor to provide steering assistance. EPS only operates when steering assistance is actually required: no electrical power is consumed during straightline driving or steady-state cornering. Noticeable attributes of this system include not only its high efficiency and low weight, but also high steering precision with good feedback, and comfort-enhancing self-centering and anti-roll characteristics. BMW 7-Series drivers also have the benefit of the steering system's standard Servotronic function, which has a more direct set-up overall and requires less steering effort.
Also available as an option for BMW 7-Series models with rear-wheel drive is Integral Active Steering, which combines the Active Steering system for the front wheels familiar from other model series with a steering rear axle. The steering angle and power assistance are controlled at both the front and the rear with the help of electric motors. Here, the optimised system control unit processes information on wheel rotation speeds, steering wheel movement, yaw rate and lateral acceleration to ensure optimum steering behaviour for the driving situation at hand. In addition, Integral Active Steering works with a variable steering ratio on the front axle, which makes parking and manoeuvring easier for the driver and enables impressive precision at higher speeds. In COMFORT+ mode, in particular, a new software set-up gives the car noticeably damped responses. This translates into a perception of greater comfort among those on board when changing lanes and driving through corners. Integral Active Steering - which is unique in this configuration - also improves the car's manoeuvrability and agility in the interests of enhanced ride comfort.
The BMW 7-Series sets the standard to follow in a host of different ways, and it's as synonymous with silky smooth drive technology and luxurious comfort as it is with dynamic prowess. As further confirmation of the Sedan's superiority, a series of new and optimised drive variants are being brought out in 2012 which boast more than just stunning power and dynamism. A raft of measures have been implemented under the umbrella of the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy to bring about a substantial reduction in the fuel consumption and emissions figures for the BMW 7-Series compared to the outgoing model. The BMW 750i and BMW 730d both deliver impressive evidence of this, with CO2 output having been cut by 25 and 17 per cent respectively despite their superior power. What's more, the entry-level diesel model successfully holds on to its status as the cleanest-running engine of its breed in its class. Finally, the second generation of the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 also continues in the same vein by further raising the bar for energy efficiency.
The petrol engines in the BMW 7-Series line-up are awash with state-of-the-art technologies, packaged together to create a superb piece of engineering. These include BMW TwinPower Turbo technology featuring twin-scroll turbocharging, High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing. The reduced-friction core engines, furthermore, come with a lightweight all-aluminium crankcase, which is a boon for both the efficiency and the agility of the BMW 7-Series.
The luxury sedan's BMW TwinPower Turbo diesel powerplants likewise showcase the very latest in BMW drive technology. With their latest-generation common rail direct injection, turbocharging and all-aluminium design, the cutting-edge diesel units are blessed with high pulling power, refined running and unsurpassed efficiency. The new range-topping diesel models - the BMW 750d xDrive and BMW 730d - go one better by offering advanced BMW BluePerformance technology, which enables them to easily undercut the EU6 emissions limits.
All engines in the BMW 7-Series are partnered by a highly sophisticated eight-speed automatic transmission, which stands out for its excellent efficiency, compact construction and innovative gearset design. Together with the minimised torque converter slip, high internal efficiency, low friction losses and intelligent transmission control, this creates substantial potential for fuel savings.
All BMW 7-Series Sedans come equipped with an Auto Start-Stop function, which can cut fuel consumption by up to six per cent. The standard specification also includes Brake Energy Regeneration, meaning that power for the vehicle electrical system is only generated during overrun and braking phases where possible. When the engine is under load, the alternator can often be disengaged. This not only means that electricity can largely be generated with zero impact on fuel consumption, it also endows the luxury sedan with even livelier acceleration. Finally, the Driving Experience Control switch gives drivers the option of selecting the optimised ECO PRO mode which, by modifying the powertrain management and programming the heating and air conditioning, heated seats and exterior mirror heating to operate for optimum efficiency, fosters an economical driving style and reduces fuel consumption by as much as 20 per cent.
The extended ECO PRO functionality includes the new coasting mode, which is designed to decouple the combustion engine when it is overrunning at speeds between 50 and 160 km/h (31 - 100 mph). With this mode activated, the BMW 7-Series Sedan is subject to a far lower rate of deceleration as it freewheels along the road with no engine braking effect and minimal fuel consumption. Through proactive driving, the kinetic energy built up by the vehicle can be harnessed in this way to achieve fuel savings of as much as five per cent. The coasting function is clearly visualised for the driver's benefit in the multifunctional instrument cluster and the information display, and can also be deactivated if desired.
With the exception of the BMW 760i, all engine variants feature a proactive driving assistant that can be switched on via the ECO PRO mode. Drawing on the latest navigation data, it recommends advance adjustment of the car's speed with the aim of saving fuel. These tips for more efficient driving are shown in the multifunctional instrument cluster and in the central Control Display.
The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 is also able to switch to coasting mode. In this case, the combustion engine switches off completely when overrunning, allowing the Sedan to glide along with zero local emissions. The system of intelligent energy management furthermore allows proactive analysis of the driving situation ahead with the aim of priming the hybrid drive components for maximum efficiency. This is achieved by integrating the power electronics with the standard-fitted Professional navigation system. Based on the data gleaned in this way, such as route topography, speed limits or traffic levels, the vehicle can be prepared in advance and the available energy deployed as efficiently as possible. For instance, a longer downhill stretch can be used to recharge the hybrid battery so that the vehicle can be driven on purely electrical power through a residential area on the "home straight".
Intelligent energy management in the BMW 7-Series is further enhanced by the ancillary units, which consume significantly less energy compared with conventional systems. Examples include the on-demand coolant pump, the electronically controlled oil pump and the new Electric Power Steering system, which offers potential savings of up to three per cent. The disengageable air conditioning compressor works on the same principle, minimising power drain by the system.
Intelligent lightweight design is integrated into all areas of BMW vehicle development work and into all components, from the body and engine to the suspension. Besides high and ultra-high-tensile steels and plastics, state-of the-art composite materials are also employed. Finally, increased use of aluminium components in the engine and suspension systems as well as for the bodywork has also further reduced the weight of the relevant assemblies.
Reducing aerodynamic drag also helps to lower fuel consumption. As the excellent drag coefficient figure of cd = 0.28 would suggest, the aerodynamics of the BMW 7-Series have been finely honed in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel. The optimised aerodynamics also bring benefits for acoustic comfort and roadholding. In particular, the vehicle's underside plays an instrumental role in minimising lift forces, as the aerodynamically efficient design with streamlined panelling provides a high degree of sealing. Also, the front aprons are designed to create an "air curtain" effect which reduces turbulence around the front wheels - again reducing drag. The aerodynamically designed wheel arches and various air deflectors likewise have a fuel-saving effect.
To guard against whiplash injuries following a collision from the rear, the front seats are fitted with crash-activated head restraints as standard that are controlled by the safety electronics. In the event of such a collision, the system responds by causing the front part of the head restraint to shoot forwards by up to 60 millimetres and upwards by a maximum of 40 millimetres. The effect of this is to narrow the distance to the occupant's head before it starts to be thrown back by the force of the impact. Thanks to the active head restraints, there is therefore less risk of sustaining cervical spine injuries or hyperextension.
To minimise the risk of a collision occurring in the first place, an array of electronic aids can be found in the BMW 7-Series that make an active contribution to driving safety. The functions of the main assistance systems have already been described in detail in the chapter on BMW ConnectedDrive, but the most noteworthy accident prevention features include: the new full-LED headlights with anti-dazzle High-Beam Assistant that are making their debut in the BMW 7-Series, Adaptive Headlights including cornering lights and variable light distribution, the Active Protection system with Attentiveness assistant featuring an eCall function and automatic vehicle location, plus, to limit the risk of rear-end collisions, adaptive brake lights. If the driver brakes very heavily and the ABS system has to take corrective action, the LED brake lights flash conspicuously as a warning to drivers behind that they too should brake as hard as possible. After the vehicle has been braked to a particularly sharp stop, the hazard warning lights will additionally switch on automatically.