New BMW 7 Series

"The 7" gets a quintessential facelift

New BMW 7 Series

New BMW 7 Series 1920 1280 henry

Following leaked pictures of it that surfaced online last week, the 2020 BMW 7 Series has officially been unveiled to the world in Shanghai, China, ahead of its European debut at the Brussels Motor Show kicking off this Saturday 19 January.

This 7 Series is not so much a completely new model, but rather a mid-cycle update of the current sixth generation model codenamed G11/G12 for the short and extended wheelbase versions respectively. A sort of midlife refresher to liven it up against rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8, with this being the most striking facelift to date since the first generation E23 7 Series introduced in 1977.

Let’s take a look at what’s new.

Front

1. The hood

The hood has been redesigned threefold – a new larger BMW badge stands flanked by bolder contour lines, giving stronger more defined edges with style changes to the front to accommodate the new larger grille and updated slimline headlights.

2. Headlights

All headlight options will be maintained receiving see a subtle but stylish redesign with a slimmer profile and refashioned signature daytime running lights (DRL) in line with the new 3 series and 8 Series models. The muse to the Cars GT logo and an evolution of BMW’s premium “angel eyes”, first introduced in 2001 on the E39 BMW 5 Series.

BMW Icon LED headlights

Notable for a light distribution that automatically adjusts to driving speed, illuminating the road ahead with dynamic power. BMW Icon LED headlights include the adaptive headlight function with variable light distribution and BMW Selective Beam.
Adaptive headlights ensure optimum illumination at night, significantly increasing active safety. BMW Selective Beam monitors the presence of vehicles in front or oncoming traffic adjusting the high-beam lights to avoid dazzling other road users.

BMW Laserlights

The top safety option for night time driving. Speed-dependent laser high-beam mode illuminates a longer range than conventional headlights. Includes both LED technology available in Icon LED Headlights for enhanced light intensity and wide illumination in addition to Laser technology for even greater intensity when using high-beam at higher speeds.

BMW Laserlights feature the distinctive blue design accents as well as “BMW Laser” lettering.

2019 BMW 7 Series facelift front

3. Grille

The front end of the 7 Series standing taller by 50 millimetres sees the most notable changes. Centre of which is the single piece grille, now a massive 40% larger and in style with BMW’s other flagship models recently unveiled, the  BMW X7 and BMW 8 Series.

Like a bulging pimple on a preadolescents nose, the new grille on “THE 7” stands bold and proud announcing its presence in grand statuesque fashion. Quite rather fitting of a vehicle of this stature.

One thing’s for certain. Of all the changes on the BMW 7 Series, early opinion is divided here at Cars GT hq and among automotive blogs/forums with the majority finding the grille to be an eyesore.

It’s early days yet and opinion may very well shift in favour of the larger grille when we first lay eyes on it.

4. Front bumper

The front bumper has been redesigned with larger side intakes to improving air flow and fuel economy, with styling refinements across the model range including new chrome edging for that opulent look.

5. Front wings

The front wings also see a change to accommodate the new bumper and headlights with side Air Breathers now larger and upright to optimise flow of air through wheel arch. Previously criticised for looking like an ice hockey stick had glued to the side of the car, the side trim strip now extends from the Air Breather on the front wing, straight through to the rear apron.

Rear

6. Rear lights & light bar

A new daytime running light has been added to the rear in the form of a bridging light strip between the slimmer 3 dimensional rear lights. Protruding from the body at a sharp angle, it adds excitement to the otherwise placid rear of the BMW 7 Series.

7. Rear bumper

Like the front bumper, the rear bumper has also been revised with a deeper boot lip and pronounced contour lines. With the addition of the new full-width light strip, the rear reflectors on either end of the bumper have been repositioned further down on the diffuser giving a perception of added height to the rear end.

The diffuser has also been slightly remodelled to incorporate the reflectors and newly designed wider exhaust tailpipe trim.

Interior

The interior upgrades are subtle but tasteful with the extended quilted Nappa leather upholstery and BMW Live Cockpit Professional being the most obvious. Gone are the silver-grey plastic bezels bordering the digital dials in the instrument cluster (remnants of the old style analogue dials which created a fusion between past and present day), in favour of a flush 12.3-inch high resolution display – future proofing the 7 Series till its next iteration.

The 7 Series facelift also gets a few added technology upgrades powered by the new BMW Operating System 7.0 with customisable displays and BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant controlled by natural voice commands. Up front beneath the central 10.25-inch Control Display and in front of the cupholders, BMW has relocated the USB socket making it easier to access. They’ve also integrated a wireless charging tray which will finally allow owners to charge their Display Key and wireless charging smartphone at the same time. The current model only allows charging of one device at a time within the central armrest.

Rear seat passengers now get a full-HD touchscreen display with the optional rear entertainment package.

Business users who work on the road will be excited about the integration of Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business.

Performance

Engines across the model range have been updated to meet the Euro 6d-TEMP exhaust standard.

Three new diesel engines with up to four turbochargers and outputs ranging from 265 hp/195 kW to 400 hp/294 kW will become available.

Plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series will now have specifically adapted six-cylinder in-line petrol engines and upgraded high-voltage batteries. System output in SPORT mode raised to a maximum 290 kW/394 hp with electric range increased to 31 – 36 miles (50 – 58 kilometres).

The petrol V8 and V12 engines also get some minor tweaks with the 8-cylinder short wheel base 750i xDrive G11 (not available to our American friends over the pond) getting additional power with an increased maximum output boost of 80 hp.

Further advancements have been made towards automated driving and safety systems with standard-fitted Parking Assistant now also including Reversing Assistant.

BMW M760Li xDrive V12

Fuel consumption combined

12.5 – 12.4 l/100 km

CO2 emissions combined

285 – 282 g/km (now with gasoline particulate filter)

BMW 750Li xDrive V8 (G12)

Fuel consumption combined

9.6 – 9.5 l/100 km

CO2 emissions combined

218 – 218 g/km

BMW 750i xDrive V8 (G11)

Maximum output

530 hp/390 kW

Fuel consumption combined

9.5 – 9.5 l/100 km

CO2 emissions combined

217 – 217 g/km

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