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“Increased presence, refined elegance” - that’s the apparent catch cry of the facelifted BMW 7 Series, which has been revealed ahead of an expected local debut later this year.
And it’s easy to see how BMW has increased the presence of the 7er, with a bold new front-end design sure to be the talking point. As BMW puts it, “the extensive design refresh at the front end plays a particularly prominent role in giving the new BMW 7 Series its more powerful visual presence”.
The bluff new front end is approximate 50mm taller at the nose, and the grille is a staggering 40 per cent larger than before. The headlights have been given the slimline treatment, though the typical ‘four-eyed face’ appearance of the fully adaptive LED headlights remains. Laser headlights will be available, too.
There are new character lines along the side of the car, while the rear has seen a big change with BMW following the current thinking in the European luxury car space in giving the 7 Series a light bar that runs the width of the boot. The rear lights are about 35 per cent slimmer than the previous version, too.
The new model will once again be offered in regular and long-wheelbase versions, with the former measuring 5120mm long and the latter extending space by 140mm, to 5260mm. All 7 Series models are now 22mm longer than before, thanks to the changed bodywork. The width is 1902mm, and the height is 1467mm as standard or 1479mm for the L model.
Inside there’s an opulent looking cabin with tweaked design cues throughout, including a new 'Exclusive Nappa' leather and BMW Individual 'Merino' leather with quilted finishes. There are new wood and gloss finishes offered, and a new 'Design Pure Excellence' package with an Alcantara headliner and other specific finishes.
Of course there’s an M Sport version with specific seats and trim finishes, and it should be an even more serene experience than before - on specific models the side and rear glass has been thickened, and range-wide there is new insulation for increased sound deadening.
The driver gets a new steering wheel, and there’s a new ambient lighting setup as well. For those in the back (of the LWB models), there’s a new 'Executive Lounge' set-up with an extended centre console with touch command media controls as well as heating, ventilation and recline function for the seats.
There are set to be eight variants of the 7 Series offered globally - including rear-wheel drive and xDrive all-wheel drive models, starting off at the entry-level 730d with a 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine (195kW/620Nm) through to the M760Li xDrive with its huge 6.6-litre twin-turbo petrol V12 (with 430kW/850Nm).
Between those bookends is the new 750i xDrive and 750Li xDrive model, which gets a reworked 4.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 producing 390kW/750Nm, and increase of 60kW/100Nm over the previous version.
The new 745e model takes a six-cylinder inline petrol engine and pairs it with a plug-in hybrid system. The engine produces 210kW of power, while the electric motor has 83kW and 265Nm. When everything is working together in Sport mode, the maximum output is 290kW/600Nm.
But more importantly, there’s an electric range of between 50 and 58 kilometres (depending on if its the 745e, 745Le or 745Le xDrive), and it can drive on EV power alone at speeds up to 110km/h.
The models that are expected to be offered in Australia are the 730d, 730Ld, 740i, 740Li, 745e, 750i xDrive, 750Li xDrive and M760Li xDrive.
Pricing and specifications will be announced closer the local launch of the new 7 Series, which is expected in the third quarter of 2019.