When it comes to sport luxury, looking for something that will get you down the road quickly and comfortably usually leads to a recommendation for a BMW 7-Series sedan.
The level of technological sophistication can only be compared to a Gulfstream private jet. A few years ago, we had the opportunity to spend two months in a 760Li, and we put over 10,000 miles on it, going to car shows across the country. Every top hot-rod builder we showed it to was beyond impressed, and we believe many have “adopted” some of the ideas that BMW used to wow its customers.
Recently, BMW gave us a sneak peek at the 2013 7-Series, and we already are trying to figure out how we can borrow this one for another cross-country journey.
While the V12 760Li stands alone in its wonderfulness, itʼs the 740 and 750 models that get the lionʼs share of upgrades.
Whatʼs new for 2013
As always for future vehicles, the goal is to improve fuel economy, which means all models will receive a new intelligent 8-speed Steptronic transmission to help reduce emissions and improve fuel economy. In addition, auto start/stop, regenerative braking, and BMWʼs ECO PRO mode also will help reduce your visits to the local gas pump.
On the outside, the refreshed 7 gets a modified kidney grille with 9 horizontal slats, LED running lights, optional adaptive full LED headlights, integrated turn signal indicators, and a chrome strip that connects the rear reflectors.
BMWʼs multimedia interface continues to improve. For the new model, there will be better readability, faster reaction time, enhanced navigation, and all around more user friendliness. In addition, an incredible sound system from Bang & Olufsen will allow you to listen to any music at any volume without making your ears bleed. The biggest tragedy here is that you canʼt drive the car into your living room and give your house the same impressive sound system.
Part of why the sound quality is better is due to BMWʼs extensive increase in sound-deadening materials. While the previous 7 was already coffin quiet, we can only assume the new interior sound quality will be like screaming in space.
A big plus for the new 7 is the comfort access feature, which allows you to kick your foot under the rear bumper for hands-free trunk opening. This is a great feature in the Ford products, and just as wonderful in BMW sedans.
Other major changes include adding xDrive (all-wheel drive) to the 740Li, as well as technical updates to the 7 powerplants. The V8 in the 750i now gets an additional 45 horsepower and 30 more lb-ft of torque.
Thereʼs also a revised Active Hybrid engine that produces slightly less power, as BMW has swapped the previous V8 for a V6, but still allows it to sail to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.
Although BMW has yet to post fuel economy numbers, it does admit to a 14-25 percent overall improvement depending on model.
BMW has, however, posted the new prices: The 740i starts at $74,195 and go up from there, culminating at $141,095 for the amazing 760Li. Luxury, as they say, does not come cheaply.
We promise to bring you a full report as soon as we slide behind the wheel.