Our Review: 2009 BMW 7 Series

7-series | November 24th, 2008 by 13
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As some of you might have read by now, last week we attended the official US launch of the 2009 BMW 7 Series at the …

As some of you might have read by now, last week we attended the official US launch of the 2009 BMW 7 Series at the LA Auto Show. This was the first chance for us to see the car live after the hundreds of photos we posted on here. 

I was quite excited to see if the new 7er will live up to my expectations and to establish once for all if I love the new design. Also, I was looking forward to clearing out the assumptions that the rear end of the new 7 resembles the Lexus LS. So, a few days ago, I posted some photos from the official launch which took place Wednesday, November 19, but the next day, when the show floors cleared out a little bit, I decided to go back and spend some more time with the brand new BMW 750Li.

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How’s it look? The new 7 Series’ style is revolutionary and it will influence all the other manufacturers that are looking at building high-end luxury cars with sportiness in their mind.

The new design has soft lines, but still showoff the curves. Each line is meant to present a subtle sexuality. The rear-end is supposed to invoke class and a type of luxury that can only be found in the highest class of cars, like Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

The nose of the new 7 is supposed to hark back to the golden days of the 80’s when the BMW’s had a more shark quality to the front-end. The new kidney grills are bigger to help air flow to the engine and give it a more pronounced stance.

The flat nose is meant to be vivid and thought provoking and for those of you that were worried about the immenseness of it, don’t worry, it matches perfectly the car. I would say that…it fits right in.

The lights show off one of the key facial features to the new 7. It’s meant to be like eyes lighting up and giving the right view into the BMW’s soul. Definitely a great design and expect to see similar headlights in future models.

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What they said: In a discusssion with BMW’s 7 Series Product Manager, it was emphasized one more time that BMW is looking to change the perception of a luxury boat and to advertise it as a sports sedan that can carry more people in class and style. I was also told that the new 7 Series is a compromise between luxury and performance, a combination that will satisfy BMW’s fan base. And BMW reassured me that the driving experience has improved exponentially and it will live up to its expectations. Oh, and a BMW 760Li will be the icing on the cake.

What they didn’t say: BMW has placed all their hopes behind the 7 Series. Bringing their top executives to the US launch and putting together an impressive show, in contrast with the US manufacturers, BMW hopes that the new  7 Series will regain its status as the ultimate luxury car in its segment and win over buyers put off by the Mercedes Benz S-class safe design. A new eight-speed automatic gearbox will be added later next year. 

What makes it tick: The new twin-turbo, direct-injection 4.4L V-8 good for 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque (between 1750 and 4500 rpm) and mated to a six-speed automatic. The technology behind the new 7 series is simply impressive, which includes features like Active Cruise Control, Active Blind Spot Detection, Night Vision Camera, side views and rear back-up cameras, Lane Departure Warning, multi-link double-wishbone front suspension and of course, the new BMW Connected System with internet access. 

The car satisfies all the driving styles via four settings (Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Sport +) that alter the damping rates, steering effort, shift points, and stability-control intervention threshold. 

How much, how soon? Unofficially, the car will not break your bank, but do expect an increase over the current models. The number that was being thrown at us was around $80,000 for the 750Li, of course, not with all the whistles and bells. The car will be available in early March 2009 and production will begin in January. 

Sleep on this: Give it some time and the new BMW 7 Series will become a car to remember by all the BMW fans. The design will grow in most of you and it will set a high standard for models to come. People that love their E65’s(current 7er) will soon realize how outdated their design is and will drool over the new 750Li, it’s an inevitable feeling and a normal progression. 

Click on the photos within the gallery for larger resolution

13 responses to “Our Review: 2009 BMW 7 Series”

  1. Gragop says:

    What’s going on with the cross-hatched grille?!

  2. mpower says:

    wow !
    The 750 is just stunning.

  3. Jordan says:

    The cross hatched grille was the one thing on the car when I saw it in person that really just ruined the car for me. What the hell BMW! It really messes up the kidneys IMHO. The only conclusion that I could come up with for its purpose was for the Night Vision camera in the right kidney, but I still don’t see why they needed to mess up the grille.

    One other thing that bugged me about BMW display in LA was their selection of colors for the cars (Gold for the 7, really??? give me jet black or alpine white!)

  4. RawAutos says:

    @Jordan: Haha, that’s exactly what Horatiu and I said about the color As for the cross hatched grill, are you talking about the two black bars in the kidney grills? If so, those are on almost every past 7.

  5. Horatiu B. says:

    @Gragop: Not sure, but it doesn’t really bother you if you see it in person

  6. Gragop says:

    It reminds me of the piping and work on the front of the E65. I can’t tell if I’m seeing reflective slats plus bars behind them. After looking at the pics again, I see the cross-hatching in the first picture but not the rest – or at least it’s not as noticable.

  7. Lance says:

    I am a huge BMW fan, but as much as I love the side and rear profile, the front end is hugely hugely hugely disappointing. Looking at the first photo, The lights do not have the presence that it used to have, in face, more attention is drawn to the eyelids?? Good eyelids with presences of the eyes make the car attractive, great presence of the eyelids without eyes make the car look sleepy. The latter is what I think.

    Secondly, the huge grille is far too huge, it is also not well integrated to the deisgn, look at the curve on the bonnet and the extention piece, it doesn’t match! Did they cut and paste that on afterwards.

    Thirdly, you can see so much through those fins in the frille as if there’re no fins. The grille looks thin and cheap, also making the entire bumper look thin inside. They could have at least added more chrome around and slanted the grille fins like on the Z4 roadsters. This is just ugly, sorry to say. There is no attention to detail whatsoever.

    Forthly, that bumper line is now raised to where the bonnet used to be, creating a line, which is far from attractive. Most crs try to hide this line between the grille and lights, but this car shows it as if it’s wonderful. To me, the car just looks cheap from the front as it starts off with plastic. Gone are the days where BMw’s have elegant smooth bonnets the sweeps over the front end of the car. It now starts with the plastic bumper. I understand that they can have a facelift by jus changing the bumpers at minimal costs, but this deign element affects the looks of the car and it is just not acceptable to me.

    All in all, theenire car is spoilt by the front looks and it looks like a sleepy pig. Pity because the side and rear is the best!

    Sorry if I sounded angry but it is just some disappointment from a very loyal BMW fan.

  8. Jordan says:

    @RawAutos: The cross hatching that I am talking about is how the grille looks like a waffle iron.

    This picture really shows what I am talking about:

    They need to make the vertical bars thicker and more prominent if they want to use cross slats.

    Look at this picture of the F01 Hybrid. No cross slats in the grille.


  9. Claudio says:

    The cross hatched grille is present when night vision is mounted, otherwise a standard (and better-looking) vertical grille is in place

  10. Eric says:

    Both cars at LA show have the night-vision and wide-slat grille. Standard grille has more vertical slats and they are set in from the kidney surround, so it’s better looking.

    If they wanted to make a splash with this show, they certainly chose bad colors. They had three 7’s on display, and 2 were identical champagne color, which looks really washed out, particularly over a beige interior. the third was the hydrogen concept car. Both prod’n models had shadowline trim, which I think would’ve looked stunning on a space or graphite grey model, but made this particular color combo look bland. Also, the LWB model that was open to the public was clearly a road tester – it still had smashed bug remnants all over the front bumper!

    I do think it’s a handsome car, but not in this color!

  11. Clara says:

    The lines are interesting, but they frame huge expanses of nothing. The large, flat hood is the most disturbing part, ending with the stark straight line of the seam — it’s just preposterously arbitrary.

  12. Thula740 says:

    The new 7 is a bigger better car now and I absolutely fail to find any critisisms, and Im saying this without any bias.
    Externally, Its bigger in every direction than its predecessor and the design elements are way ahead of its time. No Mercedes or Lexus can come close to it. Similarly, performance-wise, its incredible that such a heavy car, at 6000 bhp, can dash from 0-100km/h in just 5.2 seconds for the 750i. Thats just one thing to think about in terms of performance and it will definately give its competitors a run for their money. I wouldnt want to talk about the loads of technological gimmicks in there because Ill end up opening a catalogue of my own.
    The 730d and Mercedes S320CDI have already been put to the test and these were commented as being ‘two different cars’. The BMW scoring substantially in performance ( a full second faster ), dynamics and road presence. Cant wait for the Journalists to campare the 750i and the S500, which im very sure the BMW will kick butt!!!
    Great job BMW!!! Mercedes S, Audi S8, Lexus, BRING IT ON!!!

  13. Donald says:

    come on 7 series faild to beat 2008 s 500 MB so you think 750 is a better car lol

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