BMW's flagship sedan, the 7-Series, gets a complete overhaul for the 2009 model year. Now in its fifth generation, the car marks a steady design
evolution from previous models. The lines are still very familiar, although some of the details have been emphasized, including the front grille, headlights and rear-end treatment.
Two different trim levels will be offered, 750i and 750Li, the latter with a 140-mm longer wheelbase. Both are available with a choice of 12 body colors, three wood finishes and four leather colors.
Throughout the design process, efforts have been made to reduce the weight of this stately sedan. Lighter materials such as aluminum were used to create the roof, doors, side panels, engine block and rear suspension components.
Meanwhile, the interior is roomier than ever. The driver-oriented dashboard features a newly improved iDrive interface with a 10.2-inch liquid crystal display. The long-wheelbase variant adds ventilated rear seats with available massage.
On the technical front, the suspension has been thoroughly revised in order to enhance ride comfort and driving dynamics. Unlike Europe, where three powertrains will be part of the lineup, Canadian dealers will only carry the 4.4L twin-turbo V8 with direct injection. Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, it produces 400 horsepower from 5,500 to 6,400 rpm and 450 lb-ft of torque between 1,750 and 4,500 rpm.
According to the European specs released by BMW, this combo allows the 750i to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in only 5.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 250 km/h. Average fuel economy
is rated at 11.4 L/100 km.
For 2009, both 7-Series models come standard with BMW's Driving Dynamics Control, which allows you to adjust suspension settings, shift parameters, throttle response and steering assist through four different modes: Comfort, Standard, Sport and Sport Plus. The latter delays the intervention of the stability control system
, making this big sedan much more competent on the track.
Technophiles won't be disappointed as the 2009 7-Series offers tons of cool features and options like intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning, heads-up display with night vision technology and pedestrian detection, rearview camera, four-zone automatic climate control and, as mentioned earlier, rear seats with massage.
New for 2009 is a four-wheel, variable-assist steering (optional) which reduces the turning radius by up to 70 centimeters, thereby making parking maneuvers easier.
The 2009 BMW 7-Series will make its first appearance on Canadian soil at the next Montreal International Auto Show. Potential buyers will have to wait until next summer to get their hands on one. Pricing has yet to be announced, however.