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.
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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.
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.
What they said: In a discussion 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