The latest BMW 7 series is now available in South Africa with its recent launch treating guests to an Atlantic seaboard cruise along the Cape’s finest ocean drives in pure opulence. An impressive innovative technology package is what characterises the new 7 series whether you are driving or being chauffeured in the rear, where most buyers will find themselves. 

As long as we have known the BMW 7 series has been BMW’s pinnacle of manufacturing innovation exhibiting its class leading automotive technologies with each new model introduction. We saw this in the previous generation 7 series’ new lightweight construction ‘Carbon Core’ design. The new seventh generation BMW 7 series is no different, with the new generation seeing an all-electric version in the i7 xDrive60.

The new 7 series exudes imposing elegance on the road thanks to its large BMW kidney grill (with illuminated surround) and new split headlamps, along with the sheer scale of the vehicle’s long wheelbase – 3,215mm. A new automatic door opening and closing function invites you inside the 7’s luxuriously finished cabin. Up front the minimalistic design of the driver’s cockpit sees very few buttons or switches. You can now customise your look and feel on the large BMW curved display via touchscreen, using the new OS 8 Software. This level of technology sets it as a tech leader in a digital age of vehicles.

Whether up front or in the rear, the BMW 7 series sets the standard in comfort too, with ventilated (cooling or heated) seats with massage function and panel heated armrests in the door and centre console. New improved reclining seats in the rear and 5.5 inch touch displays in the door allow you to control ventilation, sound and the large (8K resolution) 31.3-inch touchscreen theatre screen. This TV screen is loaded with Amazon Fire TV and complimented by a Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system which essentially turns the 7 Series “lounge” into a rolling cinema!

The 7 Series now offers its first all-electric BMW i7 xDrive60 model along with a mild hybrid BMW 740i, with a BMW 740d xDrive to be added to the range in the last half of this year.

The two models available at launch are the six-cylinder 3.0 litre turbocharged BMW 740i 48V Mild-hybrid which produces 280kW of power and 540 Nm of torque through the eight speed automatic transmission.  With a sprint speed of 0-100km/h in just 5.4 seconds and a claimed consumption of 8.1l/100km. The pure electric BMW i7 xDrive60 is powered by two electric motors which together produce 400KW with a maximum torque of 745Nm with a range of 590-625km on a full charge. This fifth generation BMW e-drive technology is all-wheel drive and capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in just 4.7 seconds, which is blistering quick when taking into consideration it’s 2 684kg weight!

The silky smooth ride in the 7 series is thanks to BMW’s two-axle air suspension with optimised Active Roll Stabilisation. Well weighted and precise steering due to Integral Active Steering made the size of the 7 feel smaller while we navigated the twisty shoreline of the Cape. You only begin to notice the sheer size when parking, but thanks to the intuitive driver assistance systems it’s capable of parking itself. With systems such as a long range (300m) radar and 30 sensors around the vehicle, the 7 series is capable of implementing Level 3 autonomous driving functions with the combination of Active Cruise Control, Stop&Go function and the Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Automatic Speed Limit Assist, route monitoring function, traffic light recognition and Active Navigation. These enable the car’s speed and steering movements to be adjusted precisely to the situation with highly automated driving in heavy traffic on freeway like roads at speeds of up to 64km/h being possible.

Who knows, in the near future we could very well imagine buying a 7 Series without a need for a chauffeur, as your autonomous BMW i7 comes to fetch you. Although, after our introduction to the warp speed sound and acceleration of the all-electric BMW i7, you will always find me in the drivers seat.

BMW 740i Design Pure Excellence – R2 160 000

BMW 740i M Sport Package Pro – R2 275 000

BMW i7 xDrive60 Design Pure Excellence – R2 825 000

BMW i7 M Sport Package Pro – R2 940 000.