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BMW 7 Series makeover an inside story

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Subtle exterior makeover joined by some efficient new engines, more gadgets on the inside and improved comfort.

BMW has given its biggest sedan a makeover, but you'll need a sharp eye to notice. Its biggest boasting point, stylistically, is new LED headlights complete with signature 'corona rings' and a distinctive accent strip.

The front apron has also been modified, as has the large double kidney grille, now with nine vertical slats instead of 12. The 7 Series side profile remains as before as does the rear end, with the exception of a thin chrome strip between the reflectors in the rear apron.

LET'S TALK EFFICIENCY

A reasonable amount of work has taken place beneath the skin, however, and by default engineers have tinkered with the engines to make them more economical - by up to 25 percent. Naturally, all engines are mated to BMW's eight-speed autobox.

Yet BMW still offers its most hedonistic engine in the 7 Series, the 6-litre TwinPower turbo V12 with 400kW and 750Nm.

The 4.4-litre TwinPower turbo V8 in the 750i now has more power (330kW and 650Nm) yet consumes less fuel - BMW's EU Test Cycle optimists citing average consumption of 8.6 l/100km. This and a 4.8-second 0-100km/h sprint.

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Change also abounds beneath the bonnet of the 740i, its new 3-litre six-cylinder TwinPower turbo mill pushing 235kW and 450Nm for a 5.7 second zero to 100 sprint and 7.9 l/100km consumption.

DIESEL WITH THREE TURBOS

Big news on the diesel front is BMW's new all-wheel drive 750d xDrive, which has the most powerful straight-six diesel engine in the world. It has three turbochargers - a low pressure unit spooling up just over idle speed to get the car off the mark lag-free, another high-pressure turbo kicking in at 1500rpm and the third blower keeping the virtual hurricane going until maximum revs.

The numbers? According the BMW, the 750d pushes 280kW and 740Nm, darts to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds and sips just 6.4 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

A rung down the ladder, the 740d gains 5kW and 30Nm to be credited with 230kW and 630Nm and it's more efficient with a 5.7 l/100km average consumption. Cleanest of the clean, however, is the 730d. It gets a 10kW/20Nm boost to 190kW/560Nm and claimed consumption is 5.6 l/100km.

The ActiveHybrid 7, meanwhile, has evolved into a more efficient being, with the previous eight-cylinder petrol engine replaced by the six-pot unit fitted to the 740i.

On the chassis front, the new 7 boasts self-levelling air suspension and BMW has modified the rubber bearings and dampers.

In addition to the ship-load of driver assistance systems that come with the territory here, the central Control Display makes sure that the entertainment programs are simpler to operate, optimises office and online services, and makes it easier to use the phone. Furthermore, an improved navigation system features more realistic graphics and a 3D city model

Inside, occupants will enjoy newly-designed leather seats and an optional rear seat entertainment package with a new 9.2-inch flatscreen monitor.


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