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7 Series - F01/F02 (2008 - ...) - The Control Concept

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The control concept: clear structures for even greater driving pleasure and motoring comfort.
The arrangement of controls and storage spaces in the new BMW 7 Series follows the principle of elegance and modern function. Apart from the extra-large glove compartment, storage boxes in the door panels and around the centre console, pockets in the back of the front seats, as well as an additional storage compartment between the driver’s door and the steering wheel offer ample space for all kinds of odds and ends the driver and his passengers would like to take along.
Two cupholders are arranged conveniently on the centre console in front of the electronic gear selector lever. The buttons for adjusting the seats are arranged at the outside on the seats themselves, the buttons for activating the optional seat memory function are housed in the door linings within easy and con-venient reach even before the driver or passenger get into the car. The fundamental concept in arranging all control units was to give the entire passenger compartment a clear and functional structure. Hence, all driving functions are on the driver’s side, all comfort functions are arranged further towards the middle.
This applies both to the position of the buttons and levers in the cockpit and to the multifunction steering wheel, where the func-tion buttons for cruise control, on the one hand, and the control elements for the audio system and telephone, on the other, are appropriately separated from one another. Apart from this hori-zontal arrangement of the control units for driving and comfort functions, the arrangement of all displays likewise ensures quick and intuitive orientation in the new BMW 7 Series. All primary displays are in the upper part of the cockpit exactly on the level of the driver’s eyes. The control units, in turn, are positioned further down within optimum ergonomic reach and, thanks to their different size, shape and surface, clearly distinguished from one another for optimum control without even looking. In each case the arrangement of the switches follows the respective context, the group of switches forming the lights control centre, for example, also serving to activate various driver assistance systems supporting the driver in perceiving his surroundings.
The power unit in the new BMW 7 Series may be switched on and off by the start/stop button as soon as the straight-edged transmitter key is within the car, thus avoiding the need to push the key into a conventional key insert. The direction indicators and windscreen wipers, in turn, are operated by classic control levers on both sides of the steering wheel.

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Everything at a glance: classic circular dials, display in Black Panel technology.
In its design, the instrument cluster in the new BMW 7 Series combines classic elements and new solutions to provide a com-plete, all-round and fully harmonious unit.
For the first time the entire instrument cluster is made up of a high-resolution colour display in Black Panel technology encom-passing the four circular dials arranged in the traditional style of a sports car as well as a status and function display required for efficient motoring, navigation instructions, messages from the Check/Control, feedback from other control instruments and the Service Interval Indicator. The circular instruments offer the driver information on the most significant driving functions, the two large instruments presenting road speed and engine speed, the two smaller displays to the right and left providing information on the supply of fuel and engine oil temperature.
When not in use, the display forms a smooth, homogeneous black surface showing only the chrome-coloured surrounds open to the bottom, the indicator needles and the scale markings on the circular instruments as well as the red warning fields on the rev counter, all of which appear in the displays as firm, permanent readings.
The numbers on the circular instruments as well as the integra-ted displays for the car’s current fuel consumption and remaining range, on the other hand, are presented electronically. Like all other symbols on the display, therefore, they only become visible when the system is activated. This offers an ideal combination of mechanical and electronic data feedback – quite literally, the best of both worlds providing an attractive look and very special flair.
As long as the car is parked, neither the numbers nor any other data are visible. But as soon as the driver opens the door, the car comes to life and the display automatically starts to operate.
The chrome rings on the circular instruments open at the bottom are closed by bright lines of light, and the numbers as well as on-board information and telltales come on automatically as soon as the driver activates the ignition. And when the driver finally starts the engine, the specific functions he has activated are also shown clearly on the display. The instrument cluster corresponds in innovative style with the Control Display of the iDrive control system and, if fitted as an option, with the Head-Up Display. So depending on the function chosen, infor-mation such as telephone numbers or a radio station may also be presented on the display if the driver has called up such information via the keys on the multifunction steering wheel.
And if the car is fitted with a navigation system, the instrument cluster will also support and enhance the High Guiding function.
Clear, true-to-life arrow symbols give the driver information on changing his lane as well as assistance when bending at an unclear road junction.
Should the driver also use the Head-Up Display, information relevant to his driving requirements is presented primarily in this head-up position on the windscreen, not re-appearing again in the instrument cluster until the Head-Up Display has been reactivated. The current settings on the automatic air conditioning are presented in a second display in Black Panel technology in the centre console, thus providing information on the interior temperature as well as the current ventilation mode with particular precision and in a sophisticated look. In the new BMW 7 Series, the user is indeed able to enter all settings for the automatic air conditioning via a group of buttons on the centre console.

Electronic gear selector lever and Dynamic Driving Control button on the centre console.
Through the arrangement of control elements on the centre console, the driver is literally “invited” to drive the car in active style, enjoying convenient and intuitive management of all comfort functions. The new BMW 7 Series comes with an elec-tronic gear selector lever on the centre console with the same gearshift pattern as on a conventional automatic transmission.
However, the transmission is now controlled via electrical signals, and not mechanically, the driver selecting the parking position by pressing the P button at the top of the selector lever. Then, to activate the manual gearshift, all the driver has to do is push the lever to the left, then shifting gears sequentially by hand. Both the control unit for Dynamic Driving Control on the side facing the driver and the Controller of the iDrive control system on the opposite side come in the immediate vicinity of the gear selector lever.
Dynamic Driving Control enables the driver to vary the set-up of the car at the touch of a button for the COMFORT, NORMAL, SPORTS, and SPORTS + modes, changing not only the set-up of Dynamic Damping Control and the response of DSC Dynamic Stability Control, but also the dynamic gearshift on the automatic transmission as well as the control maps for the gas pedal and steering assistance.
Another button positioned directly in front serves to choose the DSC set-up required: Pressing this button, the driver activates a special traction mode serving, say, to facilitate the process of starting off on snow. This is done by DTC Dynamic Traction Control, a special mode of DSC serving to raise the driving stability response thresholds. And pressing down this button somewhat longer, the driver is also able to deactivate DSC completely.
The individual configuration of drivetrain and suspension set-ups chosen ensures a high standard of overall harmony in each mode of Dynamic Driving Control. Each change of the mode chosen, in turn, will give the driver clear and perceptible feedback, informing him that the car now has a different set-up.
Dynamic Driving Control allows individual configuration in the SPORTS mode, which in its basic setting gives both the drivetrain and the suspension functions are more sporting character. But then, using the iDrive control system, the driver is able to influence either of these two factors as he wishes, returning one of them to the NORMAL mode. This enables him to enjoy a sporting set-up of the drivetrain elements even when on account of poor road conditions it would not be advisable to choose a harder damping setting.
Instead of a conventional handbrake, the new BMW 7 Series comes with an electrohydraulic parking brake operated simply by pressing a button, that is without the slightest effort. The Auto Hold function likewise operated by pressing a button serves to automatically keep the car at a standstill, ensuring greater comfort in stop-and-go traffic.



Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 14:36  
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