|7 Series - E65/E66 (2001 - 2008)|
|Power and Brilliance|
|730d, 740d, 730(L)i and 760(L)i|
The new BMW 7 Series e65/e66 (updated)
BMW's all-new flagship luxury car is a major step forward in automotive design and marks a new design direction for the company.
Both inside and out, BMW's designers and technicians have created an entirely new look and feel for the 7 Series and developed a revolutionary interior concept called iDrive.
Under the skin is a technological tour de force, which combines cutting edge body, engine and chassis technology with the latest in electronic and computer know-how.
The combination of performance and economy are peerless in the luxury sector and refinement is second to none.
It makes perfect financial sense too, with lavish equipment levels, highly competitive pricing, an innovative five-year service and maintenance package and strong residual values.
Two models will be available at launch, the 735i and the 745i.
The V12 760i and long wheelbase models will join the line-up later in 2002, with six cylinder petrol and diesel models in 2003.
Penned by BMW design chief Chris Bangle, the 7 Series has an entirely new look.
He has created a shape which communicates dynamism, performance, luxury and has a commanding on-the-road presence.
At the same time, familiar features make it unmistakably a BMW.
Lightweight materials have been used extensively, like aluminium and high-strength steel.
Although the new 7 Series is longer (+45 mm), wider (+40 mm) and higher (+57 mm) than the previous model and packed with new systems and extra equipment, it is only marginally heavier (+20 kg).
The new body is also extremely aerodynamic which helps deliver the outstanding fuel consumption figures - 735i 26.4 mpg, 745i 25.9 mpg.
BMW has rewritten the rulebook on automotive interior design with its new iDrive concept.
Faced with the conundrum of ever-increasing vehicle systems and technology, yet limited space for the resultant proliferation of knobs, buttons and switches on the dashboards of luxury cars, BMW has found this radical solution.
iDrive is an intuitive, ergonomic design concept which puts the driver back at the centre of vehicle control.
It splits the control systems into two main areas within the cockpit - the driving area, immediately in front of the driver and the comfort area, running up the centre console and the middle of the dash, dominated by the large circular knob (the Controller) and the Control Display.
All the primary controls needed to drive the car are directly in front of the driver.
The gearshift is controlled by a stalk on the steering column and the parking brake is operated by a button on the dashboard, within easy reach.
The rest of the dashboard is almost devoid of switches and buttons, giving the interior clean lines and a feeling of light and space.
Exceptions are the primary heater controls and the sound system on/off knob.
All remaining secondary controls are operated via the Controller - a large circular knob positioned on the centre console.
Control areas are selected via a menu-driven display at the top of the dashboard.
The Controller and Control Display has been structured to be highly intuitive and easy to use - and at the same time to reduce driver distraction.
Optional voice control of many of the systems makes life even easier.
One of the most significant innovations within this system is the world's first mobile internet gateway, called BMW ONLINE.
This will give access to services like email, Yellow Pages, news and local guides.
Interior materials have been selected from the finest available and the 7 Series has an air of opulence and luxury.
Standard specification is generous, including satellite navigation, telephone and leather upholstery and the option list is virtually limitless.
Passenger space has increased compared to the previous model in every dimension and most notably, rear passengers have 42 mm extra knee room.