2016 BMW 7 Series Preview

FAST FACTS
  • All-new redesign of BMW flagship sedan
  • Long-wheelbase version for U.S. market adds 1 inch to length
  • "Active" grille design facilitates engine cooling
  • Headlights have closer orientation to grille
  • Use of lighter-weight materials makes vehicle 190 lbs. lighter
  • Doors, trunk lid are made of aluminum
  • Engines add power, fuel efficiency
  • Plug-in hybrid version is expected later in the year

Introduction

The 7 Series is BMW's line of full-size luxury sedans. BMW added the 740Ld xDrive version for the 2015 model year, to go with the 740i and the 750i. Also part of the 7 Series lineup are the diesel-powered 740d and the 760iL, but so far the plans for those models, at least for the 2016 model year, have not been announced. What has been shared by the automaker is that for 2016, the standard long-wheelbase model that serves as the foundation for the 7 Series will gain an inch in length, and a slight redesign of the front end brings the headlights closer to the signature BMW grille. The use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, and increased use of aluminum, reduce the overall vehicle weight by 190 lbs., according to BMW. A plug-in hybrid version of the new 7 Series has been promised, but the release date hasn't been announced.

Exterior Features

The 2016 BMW 7 Series is available in three model series: 740i, 750i, and 760i. Standard exterior features on the 740i include 18-in. wheels, xenon headlights, LED fog lights, automatic wipers, sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, adjustable drive settings, and adaptive dampers. The 750i features 19-in. wheels as standard, and adds power-closing doors, power trunk lid, and LED headlights with automatic high beams.

Interior Features

The 740i's standard interior equipment includes leather upholstery, heated front seats with memory and 4-way lumbar adjustment, cruise control, 4-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, iDrive touchpad interface, navigation system with voice controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 12-speaker sound system. The 750i adds a head-up display, 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, and side-bolstered 16-way power front seats with upgraded leather upholstery.

The 760i, not yet revealed for 2016, will likely include all the optional features listed below as standard (except perhaps the upgraded headliner, which was an extra option last year).

Optional Features

Enhanced adaptive suspension and Integral Active Steering are available on both the 2016 BMW 740i and 750i. The Executive package of options adds most of the 750i upgrades to the 740i, as well as ventilated front seats. The 750i's version of the Executive package includes rear and rear-side sunshades, a faux-suede headliner, and ceramic-trimmed controls. These upgrades can be added to the 740i package. The M Sport package adds a sport steering wheel, 19- or 20-in. wheels, upgraded interior and exterior styling elements, and a higher top speed. The Individual Composition package includes adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, pedestrian-detection system, premium Bang & Olufsen sound system, and dual-screen rear entertainment system. The Driver Assistance package adds a lane-departure warning system, drowsiness monitor, extra parking cameras, blind-spot monitors, and a display of the current speed limit. The Cold Weather package heats the rear seats and steering wheel, and adds a ski bag that can pass through the trunk. Massaging front seats are an individual option.

Under the Hood

Standard engine on the 2016 740i and 740Li is a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder that produces 320 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. The 740Ld xDrive gets a turbocharged, 255-horsepower, 3.0-liter diesel engine that makes 413 lb.-ft. of torque. The 750i xDrive gets a turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8 engine that pumps out 445 horsepower and 480 lb.-ft. of torque. As of press time, the 760Li features a 6.0-liter, turbocharged V-12 engine that makes 535 horsepower and 550 lb.-ft. of torque. Rear-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission are standard across the entire range of 2016 BMW 7 Series models. All-wheel drive is standard on the 740Ld and optional on the other model series. All but the 760i feature an automatic start-stop system.

Safety

The 2016 BMW 7 Series features a full complement of air bags, plus an emergency communications system that includes collision notification, emergency response, and stolen-vehicle recovery. Many high-tech safety features are optional or part of model series upgrades.

Technology

Various technological upgrades address the engine cooling system, safety factors, comfort features, vehicle weight, and other issues.