CFRP and Lightweight Materials
It isn’t just all engine and horsepower that will make the new 7 Series superb to drive. The new body shell was constructed with extensive use of aluminum and CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic), making the 7 Series lightest in class.
The new 7 Series can be anywhere from 100 to 300 lbs lighter than the outgoing model, depending on model and trim level. It’s also stiffer than before and more aerodynamic.
It features an Active Kidney Grille, which has flaps that will automatically open or close, depending on engine cooling needs, to increase aerodynamics. It also features BMW’s Air Curtains and Air Breathers. The Air Curtains guides the airflow on the front apron past the wheel arch where it goes through the Air Breather behind the front wheel arch. This creates better aero by reducing turbulence in the wheel arches.
Chassis and Suspension
This latest 7 Series also has a perfect 50:50 weight distribution, BMW’s latest Dynamic Damper Control system, a 7 Series first Air Suspension, double-wishbone front suspension and five-link rear suspension to give the 7 Series excellent driving dynamics. The Electronic Power Steering System has also been revised for better steering accuracy and response. The Air Suspension system is standard on all models and is fed by an electronically controlled air compressor and reservoir. The system can adjust the air supply to each wheel, to be able to adjust for an uneven load and will keep the body height at a constant level even when the car is switched off. It can be manually operated and raised up to 20 mm, to adjust for rough pavement. Though, over speeds of 22 mph it reverts back to normal.
However, in Sport Mode, the suspension lowers 10 mm at high speed. All of this can be controlled through BMW’s Dynamic Damper System, with Comfort, Comfort+, Sport and Adaptive modes.
The new 7 Series also features Active Roll Stabilization, utilizing the active dampers to tighten the suspension travel when driving quickly through twisty roads or slacken everything up when driving straight on, say, a highway. It does this by using BMW’s latest Road Preview technology which uses the navigation system to feed it information about the upcoming road and road surfaces.There will also be an optional rear steering system, which can turn the rear wheels a small degree, opposite the front steering at low speed and with the front steering at high speed. This improves low-speed maneuverability and high-speed stability.
With powerful and efficient new engines, an intelligent eight-speed gearbox that can learn the road ahead, advanced damper control, rear wheel steer and air suspension, the new 7 Series is shaping up to be one hell of a driver’s car. It may be incredibly luxurious and wonderfully opulent, but don’t mistake this for some boring executive’s limo. BMW might want this new 7 Series to take the S Class head on, in terms of luxury, but it still must be an Ultimate Driving Machine.