As part of a greater fall update for its European lineup that includes iDrive 9 for the X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer along with Fire Red paint for the 5 Series, BMW has some updates in store for its flagship car. The 7 Series is getting “a further highly exclusive design of light-alloy wheel” as an optional feature for the cars manufactured for the European market from November. In addition, a new 21-inch set of Individual wheels with a two-tone finish and a multi-spoke design will be added and it’ll come with mixed-size tires.
While shiny new wheels won’t make rush to the local BMW dealer and place an order for the G70, a more significant update is on the way. Already offered in the United States and Canada, the Highway Assistant will be available in Europe from spring 2024. It’s already offered for the 5 Series G60, and it has now been approved by Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority. The semi-automated driving system works at speeds of up to 81 mph (130 km/h) and allows the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel.
It should be mentioned that Highway Assistant only works on multi-lane roads “with structurally separated carriageways.” You’ll be notified by the driver’s display when it can be activated. BMW wishes to point out that while this system provides hands-free driving, you’ll always need to pay attention to the road ahead and take control of the vehicle if the situation requires it.
Aside from automatically adjusting speed and overtaking, Highway Assistant allows drivers to initiate a lane change by looking into the side rearview mirrors without having to use the turn signal stalk. Cue the joke about BMW drivers already not using the turn signals.
It’s worth noting that Mercedes has managed to beat BMW to the level 3 autonomy punch with its Drive Pilot system for the S-Class and the electric EQS.