The competition in the luxury vehicle sector is hard, and engineers are having a tough job keeping up with the expectations of the cosseted clientele. The people at the Bavarian Motor Works have not revolutionized their flagship, but ‘evolutionized’ the new 7 series.
Remote Control Parking
One of the new gimmicks – great for showing off in front of friends – is the Remote Control Parking. You can jump out of the car and move it forward into, or reverse it out of, a garage or parking space using the remote control. You can switch the engine on, off, and then on again without having to get into the car. The whole procedure is monitored by the Park Distance Control, the Parking assistant and the Surround View sensors.
The BMW display key is also a cool gadget, worth showing off. The integrated touch display is used to control the remote parking and auxiliary heating. In addition, it displays the remaining fuel and current range, the status of the windows, glass roof and central locking systems, service notification and, if needed, the time.
BMW’s in-car control system, the iDrive, is similar to that of other manufacturers, both in design and functionality. To get an edge on the competition, alongside the familiar control knob and voice commands, the Bavarian manufacturer will be adding a large, easy-to-access touch screen and gesture control. With predefined simple gestures, you can adjust the radio or answer calls. The idea is innovative and should make driving safer, unless of course you forget the gestures and start having an argument with the on board computer about what you actually want done.
Here is a video, found on TestDriven, of Timo Resch, Vice President Product Management Grand Series, demonstrating the new features.
Another novelty is the new headlight system, Laserlight, available as an option. In laser highbeam mode, the lights illuminate a range of up to 600 metres (nearly 2000 feet), also adapting to oncoming traffic to avoid blinding the drivers. You can see a graphic demonstration of how they work in the video below.
In addition to the common SPORT, COMFORT and ECOPRO driving modes, the new BMW will have an Adaptive Mode: the system uses navigation data, camera and your driving style to influences the steering, Steptronic transmission, the Dynamic Damper Control, and the instrument display will adapt to the current mode. Manually choosing Sport or Comfort modes will affect steering feel and ride height, ensuring a more pleasant and dynamic driving experience.
To decrease weight and increase safety, the new BMW will come with a carbon core chassis, a combination of carbon fiber, aluminum and high-strength steel. Carbon fiber has already been used in the i8 and i3 but apparently BMW has found a (secret) procedure that makes integrating carbon fiber, on an industrial level, sustainable. The new chassis will spare some 130 kg (285 pounds) on weight making the 7 series lighter and more rigid compared to previous models. The following video explains, in detail, the benefits of the newly developed chassis.
There are lots more features or options available for the new BMW 7 series, some are more enhancements than innovations. But at the end of the day the 7 series is about luxury and for those who want to leave the hard and joyous task of driving to someone else, BMW offers the “executive lounge”, a feature that gives the back seat passenger a first class experience with full control over the numerous options that make the time spent in the car more enjoyable than it already may be. The following video shows a few of these options.
The new luxury sedan will be available in October, starting at $75,000.
Some will compare it to the competition, but no one can deny its excellence.