Updated 7 Series gets new 530hp V8

BMW has revealed its updated 7 Series before sales kick off this April, when the car gains a significantly larger front grille to more closely align it with BMW's other flagship, the X7. The alteration - which is likely to split opinion because, well, see for yourself - comes with a swathe of changes beneath the skin, including a more potent eight-cylinder engine and a higher efficiency plug-in hybrid powertrain.

At the top of the range the M760Li hasn't escaped modification, with the 6.6-litre V12 model receiving a new particulate filter, as per WLTP's requirements, resulting in a reduction of peak output to 585hp - a decrease of 25hp. The two-ton car's 0-62mph time is now four tenths slower at 4.1 seconds, but its CO2 output does, however, drop by 9g/km to 285g, while fuel economy also grows, albeit by a minuscule amount, to 22.6mpg.

These improvements are somewhat overshadowed by the introduction of a new version of BMW's blown 4.4-litre V8 engine, which is used in the 750i to produce 530hp - 80hp more than before. That, you may have noted, is only 55hp short of the twelve, and the eight is much cleaner in the non long-wheelbase 7, as it puffs out 217g/km and enables a claimed 29.4mpg. You might think it would tread on the toes of the V12, but BMW doesn't offer this engine in the LWB 7, so its status is safe.

The plug-in hybrid 7, on the other hand, is available in both normal and LWB forms. It's a crucial model for BMW in an ever more stringent automotive world, and the 2019 changes applied should improve the model's desirability in cities where zero-emission running is mandatory. The 745 models are now claimed to be capable of up to 134.5mpg and produce as little as 48g/km of CO2. Most significantly, they can eke out up to 36 miles on battery power alone before the petrol inline six-cylinder kicks in.

If you've watched demand for diesel cars continue tumble in recent months, you might expect BMW to drop its diesel 7 variants. But sales for DERVs at this end of the market have been more resilient. As such, the 7 will retain three oil burners that span 3.0 and 4.0-litre displacements and each have six cylinders. These variants, the 730d, 740d and 750d, produce between 265hp and 400hp.

There have been no changes to the car's chassis, which comes as standard with adaptive damping and two-axle air suspension with self-levelling. But the already generous driving assistance technology suite has now grown to include a reversing assistant, which can steer the car back up to 50 metres along exactly the line it travelled when going forwards.

Inside, BMW's latest infotainment system, Live Cockpit Professional, is standard and includes a 12.3-inch instrument cluster display with a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Drivers can, if they want, still control the system with BMW's highly effective rotary controller or voice operation - which can be activated with "hey BMW". Oh, and the car's side windows are 5.1mm thicker, for added insulation. Joy.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (147) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Jimbo. 16 Jan 2019

    fking hell, that front end is awful!

  • Charlie Michael 16 Jan 2019

    Did they 150% the front grill during design and forget to put it back?

  • McFarnsworth 16 Jan 2019

    I genuinely thought the front kidneys was one of those quick photoshop jobs.

    Who on earth designs and approves these things, and believes this looks even remotely alright?

  • PLuKE 16 Jan 2019

    I wouldn’t normally comment, and the new style grill/headlights IMO look pretty good to me, like most things, your eyes need time to adjust.

    BUT, this 7 grill, looks like some crap American “luxury” model, cheap, creaking plastic grill!

  • KTF 16 Jan 2019

    The front grill is ridiculous. It looks like a pig.

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