The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the benchmark to which all luxury sedans are compared.
For decades, the competition has been trying to play catch up — and this includes BMW’s 7-Series.
For 2016, the Bavarian maker of the “ultimate driving machine” has a brand new flagship sedan that the company hopes will finally close the gap between itself and its archrival.
Although the new sedan’s styling may be more evolutionary than revolutionary, the technology employed by BMW is truly a major step forward for the model.
Recently, BMW gave me a sneak peek at their unreleased 7-Series. Here are some of the cool things you will find when the car lands in showrooms.
For 2016, the folks in Bavaria have been busy packing the new sedan with as much tech as they can get their hands on.
This starts with the frame of the new Bimmer, which features a blend of aluminium, carbon fibre, and steel components.
The lightweight, carbon-fibre roof allowed engineers to lower the car's center of gravity -- giving it better stability around corners.
In front, BMW's signature 'kidney grilles' feature automatic shutters that open to provide additional engine cooling, but close to improve aerodynamics when cooling isn't needed.
Inside, the cabin is as plush and high tech as expected. For the new 7, BMW has installed its latest iDrive 5.0 infotainment system.
The 7-Series also has a new key with a built-in touch screen display, in addition to the normal set of lock/unlock buttons.
To ensure the key remains functional in case the screen runs the battery down, BMW has installed two separate battery sources -- one for the buttons, one for the screen.
As expected, the company can soup up the rear cabin with a variety of entertainment and luxury options.
The key new feature is a 7-inch Touch Command Tablet that can be used to control everything from lighting and climate control to the navigation system.
For propulsion, BMW will over a variety of its highly potent V6 and V8 TwinPower turbocharged engines.
The new 7 will also get BMW's satellite assisted transmission, currently found on the company's Rolls-Royce cars.
Using GPS to read the geography and layout of the road ahead, the transmission then makes the appropriate adjustment to optimise performance.
Speaking of performance, the company will build an 'M Sport' model for those looking for a sportier presentation.
The 2016 BMW 7-Series is expected start at around $81,000 when it hits US showrooms in the fall of 2015.
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