New, facelifted BMW 7 Series gets huge diesel power

Friday, 25 May 2012 10:42 AM

2012 BMW 7 Series

The new-for-2012 BMW 7 Series gets some serious engine stomp and a frugal hybrid option, as well as plenty of tweaks inside and out


BMW’s luxury cruising 7 Series has been thoroughly refreshed and revised ahead of its on-sale schedule later this year, with a reworking of the exterior styling; interior spec and styling; new punchy and frugal powerplants, and chassis improvements. There’s plenty new with the new 7 Series, then.

First up, let’s look at this world-crushing turbodiesel motor. The most powerful 6-cylinder diesel motor on the planet makes 376bhp and 546lb ft of torque, and, as we’ve recently seen in the new xDrive range of super-diesel BMWs, uses triple turbocharging to add some impressive thump to the new 750d which it now powers.

This devil’s own diesel will punt the big 7 to 62mph in 4.9secs, but is still said to be good for 44.1-combined miles-to-the-gallon, with CO2 emissions rated at 169g/km. The only slight hitch is that it’s not due to be officially imported to the UK as yet as the xDrive cars are four-wheel drive and we don’t get those here. However, if you really want one, you can surely get one.

Another 7 Series engine of note is the 536bhp petrol monster under the long hood of the top-of-the-range 760i. While it’s a bit of an eco-shocker next to the xDrive diesel’s more holy exhaust output, with 299g/km of CO2 wafting away and a combined economy figure of 22.1mpg, it’s sure to shift this full-size autobahn-stormer with impressive pace.

But enough big-bhp for a while, more planet-friendly punters will be interested in the new 7 Series with BMW’s ActiveHybrid technology that combines a 3-litre, straight-6 petrol engine with extra electric motor force to produce nearly 350bhp and what is said to be a big drop in emissions. A standard 8-speed automatic gearbox for 7 Series cars will only encourage more fugal, low-revs cruising, too.

Outside we see new, full-LED headlights, a more prominent BMW kidney front grille and a new front bumper finishing off the 7 Series’ new, 2012 face. And behind that stern stare are plenty of safety features to keep this big beast in check, including the latest-generation Professional navigation system, BMW Night Vision and Dynamic Light Spot, anti-dazzle LED High-Beam Assistant, BMW Parking Assistant, Driver Assistant Plus and Active Protection.

Enhancing the old car’s ride are a raft of chassis and suspension upgrades with modified rubber bearings and new dampers and the self-levelling air suspension for the rear axle, and electric power steering.

And, finally, to assist in the enjoyment of the technical upgrades are some interior tweaks to keep the inner space fresh. New front leather seating is said to improve long-distance comfort, while a new option for individual rear seats is there to be ticked on the list. And, another option is a rear seat entertainment package with a new 9.2-inch flatscreen monitor and a whopping 1,200-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system that pumps through 16 speakers.

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