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BMW reveals new 7 Series

On sale from 24 October 2015, the new sixth-generation model is priced from £64,530 OTR and uses multiple materials in the construction of the body, including carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the Carbon Core – as used on the i3 and i8 – making it up to 130kg lighter than its predecessor.

Like its predecessor it’s available in standard and long wheelbase versions. The standard wheelbase model is 5098mm in length, 1902mm in width and 1478mm in height, making it 19mm longer and 7mm higher than its predecessor. The long wheelbase model is 139mm longer at 5238mm; 18mm longer than the car it replaces.

Engines comprise six-cylinder in-line units, with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The 321bhp 3.0-litre petrol in the 740Li long wheelbase model offers 7bhp more than the engine it replaces and brings improved performance and efficiency, with official combined fuel consumption of 41.5mpg and 159g/km.

The 261bhp diesel unit in the BMW 730d and BMW 730Ld models also boasts a 7bhp increase in output whilst fuel consumption and emissions are considerably lower as well thanks to a reduction in weight, improved thermodynamics for the turbocharging system with VNT technology and a new common-rail direct injection system with piezo injectors. The 730d offers combined fuel consumption of 60.1mpg and 124g/km, with figures of 58.9mpg and 127g/km for the long wheelbase version. All versions come with rear-wheel drive as standard and diesel models are available with xDrive as an option. 

An updated eight-speed Steptronic transmission comes as standard.

There are also two new plug-in hybrid models – the BMW 740e, and the BMW 740Le xDrive – which arrive next year. The 740e combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and 95bhp electric motor, which share an eight-speed automatic transmission. Combined output is 322bhp, which enables the car to reach 62mph in 5.5 seconds from rest with fuel economy of up to 134.5mpg and CO emissions of 49g/km, based on the test cycle for plug-in hybrids.

BMW will also offer a long-wheelbase 740Le xDrive version with four-wheel drive. This slightly reduces the electric range to 23 miles, while fuel economy drops to 122.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 53g/km. Both versions should be eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant. 

The 7 Series also brings an updated chassis with double-joint front axle, five-link rear axle and Electric Power Steering while 2-axle self-levelling air suspension system comes as standard along with Variable Damper Control. All models come as standard with an enhanced Drive Experience Control function, offering Comfort, Sport, Eco-Pro and a new adaptive mode.

Another new feature is the Executive Drive Pro active chassis control system, which is available for all models with the exception of the BMW 740e, BMW 740Le and BMW 740Le xDrive, and works in unison with the 2-axle air suspension and the Variable Damper Control to offer active roll stabilisation and anticipatory damper control. And an updated version of the Integral Active Steering system is available as another optional extra.

The 7 Series also features new technology including a gesture-controlled contact-free infotainment system and remote control parking that can drive into tight spaces without the driver present.

Standard kit includes four-zone automatic air-conditioning, hands-free phone system complete with Bluetooth audio streaming and USB port and a universal holder with wireless charging.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.