2013 BMW 7 Series Review

7 Series

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2013 BMW 7 Series Overview

The 7 Series, BMW’s flagship luxury sedan, arrives for 2013 with subtle changes to the exterior, new engines under the hood and a plethora of tech goodies and features. It’s been 4 years since the last update, and the 7's technology has been lagging behind its 3 and 5 Series counterparts.

The 7 Series includes the 740i and 740Li (long wheelbase), which receive the latest 3.0-liter turbo N55 V6 engine making 315 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, just like the outgoing N54. The 750i and 750 Li share a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, albeit now with BMW’s variable valve timing, increasing horsepower to 445 (up 45) and torque to 480 lb-ft (up 30). The top tier is the 760i and 760Li, which both use a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 making 535 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. (The boutique Alpina B7 uses the same 4.4 engine as the 750, but with 540 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.) The 740 is equipped with 18-inch wheels, the 750 with 19-inchers, while the Alpina steps up to 21-inchers.

Across the board, the Billionaire’s Beemer gets the 8-speed automatic transmission previously reserved for its V12 engines. A new auto start/stop feature, which cuts the engine while it idles, like in a hybrid, is standard. Also, BMW introduces ECO PRO mode, which manages the powertrain, heating and cooling systems as well as decoupling the engine from the transmission, allowing the car to “coast” at speeds between 30 and 100 mph. Whee!

The car comes with an aggressive rear-wheel-drive system standard, with BMW's xDrive AWD system optional. On the outside, the face gets a very subtle refresh, with a tweaked grille (9 slats, down from 12) and redesigned lower fascia. A new option available on all trims and standard for the 760 is a pair of adaptive LED headlamps, which offer both high and low settings and give the new model a very contemporary look.

Inside, there’s a half-inch more headroom in the Li trims. The seats have been slenderized in the front, and new leather colors have been added to the palate, along with ambient lighting. An optional iDrive controller and 9.2-inch screens that “float” behind the front seats are available. But otherwise, this is essentially the same good-looking 7 Series you know inside and out.

But now there’s more to love, in terms of new features and gadgets. The iDrive system has been revamped and simplified, parking assist is now available, and the cars are wired with a brand-new 16-speaker sound system. (And a new voice-activated system allows the driver to record a memo when the mood strikes.)

BMW’s 7 Series is now rejuvenated and ready to take on its competitors, such as the Mercedes S-Class and the Audi A8, head-on.

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