7/7/08

BMW’s 2009 7 Series



BMW has released pictures and information on the new 2009 7 series prior to its official debut at the Paris auto show.

And the Connoisseur’s first official thought is…

Hmmm…

I can’t say that I am blown away by the pictures. In all honesty I was expecting a bit more than a mildly evolutionary visual change. I would have to believe that the controversy over the previous generation’s Bangle-ized lines scared the designers into a conservative school of thought. Final judgment will be withheld until an in-person viewing, but the early opinion is that it won’t be able to equal the visual presence of its chief rival, the recently updated Mercedes S-class. I was hoping for a bit more influence from the CS show car.

The interior, on the other hand, looks to have moved in the proper direction. The iDrive screen is now larger and better integrated into the dash and the driver’s seat controls are no longer obnoxiously positioned on the center tunnel. All-in-all this cabin looks to be a good place to conduct the business of driving.

The really good news for this 7 is actually 8… cylinders, that is!

Under the bonnet will reside BMW’s new 400-hp twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that recently debuted in the X6. More powerful and more efficient than the outgoing unit, this powerplant should provide plenty of exhilaration for the big sedan.

New suspension bits as well as a host of techno-wizardry will keep the vehicle dynamics in check. Of note is something called Integral Active Steering – essentially speed-sensitive rear-wheel steering that will be included in the Sport package.

The 750i and 750Li (long wheelbase) will arrive in dealerships in a few months. Take a look and see if you are inclined to…count to seven.

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