Quasi-autonomous driving up to 210 km / h, possible parking without driver on board, audio and telephone controls by simple gestures, touch screen ignition key … Another show car? No: the new BMW 7 Series 2016, here in the test 730d versions. Welcome to the future.
When a single Volkswagen Polo knows only to curb an obstacle or stalling speed of the vehicle ahead, as he remains the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Mercedes S-Class, supposed to travel the cream of technological equipment? Many resources with each new generation, these rolling labs impress us know, unsheathing endowments worthy of the best films in advance.
The ultimate example is before your eyes. The 6th generation BMW 7 Series already out of style the Mercedes S Class 2014, at which it borrows some innovation (camera reading the road to anticipate its distortions and improve comfort, counts 100% digital, piloting “semi” automatic), but opens others, to use his distance. This war seems futile gadget? It is interesting to contrast. And announced that in 5, 10 or 15 years, the buyer Renault Clio found in his car. In a way, testing the new BMW 7 Series borders on a journey into the future.
BMW 7 Series 2016
In the new BMW 7 Series 2016, the first futuristic detail comes early, very early, discovering the ignition key. A black and aluminum case, certainly pretty, but altogether traditional … until the press of the thumb. There, a small touch screen lights up, then let the information scroll a swipe of the finger, mini smartphone connected way or shows: remaining range, information on locking or lighting, can program the air conditioning remotely ( 300 meters maximum)
By November 2015, the key to the newBMW 7 Series 2016 even serve as a “pilot” automatic parking system without a driver on board (€ 1,620 basic finish). Bluffing … provided stand almost straight ahead instead, forward, and not to let the car go over one and a half times its length. Convenient to park along a wall, regardless of the entry or exit of the passenger (see demonstration video).
Carbon, such as BMW “i”
Other innovations remain as original: to increase the volume of the radio, just turn his forefinger into the void, facing the center console. Reverse operation for the decline. Finger you point the screen to take a phone call, two fingers to change the station.
A system that will eventually disappear buttons on the console, and allows control of common functions without eyes off the road. The 7 Series we are nevertheless encouraged: cruise control adapting to the limitations or the car in front, helps maintain the path up to 210 km / h, depending bottling up 60 km / h, without forgetting Arrival of a removable touchpad for rear passengers.
And weight in this treasure trove? Paradoxically, it falls. Through the use of plastic reinforced with carbon fiber (30% lighter than aluminum, 50% lighter than steel) located in parts of the structure, the BMW 7 Series weighs up to 130 kg less than the previous generation.
A 1 830 kg, our test 730d becomes 125 kg lighter Mercedes S-Class, and 730d xDrive, 55 kg lighter than an Audi A8 Quattro and aluminum body. This “lightness”, coupled with the 8-speed automatic transmission and diesel 265 hp yet optimized, thus serve CO2 emissions: 119 g per km, as a good city five years ago. For comparison, the Mercedes S Class 350 Bluetec spits out 146 g. War is declared.
Installing the wheel of the new 7 Series is the first good surprise. A dash “baroque” of a Mercedes S-Class, BMW opposed a more sober style, more elegant: few solid elements, central screen of 10.25 inches end like a blade (now touch a first for BMW) digital meters cared for, worked mood lighting. It feels like in a car near a living room and not in a living room near a car, and this subtlety is extended once in motion.
Inaudible at idle, the diesel 265 hp propels the single carcass 7 Series without ever giving the impression of force. A gentle pat on the accelerator and we are at the maximum speed on motorways, with no passage of eight reports had broken the acceleration or no additional noise will be invited into the cockpit.
“At 130 km / h, the BMW 7 Series seems to be moving 50 km / h slower, as she masters comfort and soundproofing in the cabin”
Beyond modes Comfort, Dynamic and Eco Pro, the new 7 Series now offers Adaptive mode, which adjusts steering, suspension and box office management on driving style and the route taken using GPS data. Magical.
Brave New World
With the optional Comfort Drive € 3,000, the BMW then combines the best of both worlds: comfort staggering (the word is weak) by a camera reading the road and softening the suspension before the big deformations, ballerina agility via bar active stabilizer suppressing roll. In turns, the 7 Series is comparable to a 5 Series or even 3 Series, turning suddenly dynamic sedan in time to climb to the heights of Gstaad and Courchevel.
In this regard, the xDrive all-wheel drive remains available ( € 3,400), and can now be associated with the steering rear wheels (forbidden alliance on the previous generation). For € 1500, the last city to improve turning circle and stability of the car in big highway curves. Driving is as pleasant as easy, and, for once, the driver does not troquerait place at all costs with the rear passenger. Although …
7 Series but first class
The journey to the rear seats is another unforgettable experience. Despite a high seat and closes nothing, environment dépayse: the headrest is a cushion, the armrest a mattress. If the options are inviting, the seats heat, ventilate, slide, recline. Everything controlled by a touch pad Samsung housed in the armrest that stands out to occupy the little ones (games, photos, Internet browsing thanks to the onboard Wi-Fi).
For older children became CEO, is better then check the box back seat Gran Comfort, only available in the body Limousine wheelbase extended by 14 cm: the file can be tilted 45 ° and the front seat advances and down to let his legs on a soft retractable footrest electrically. Delicious.
Only available in 7 Series limousine, the Executive Lounge includes the option right rear seat Grand Confort, screens on the back of the front seats, ventilated and massaging seats, rear console and this great condemning the central square. Rate ? € 9,500 …
Inside, and finally impress his CEO friends, it is also possible to evoke the inductive laptop charger (finished cable with compatible mobile!), The massage seats to eight programs, the perfumer of ambiance two scents to choose from. Not to mention the panoramic glass roof with integrated diodes, mimicking the stars in six colors interchangeable charged € 2200. Not sure, it, to find it in your future Clio …
BMW 7 Series 2016 Test : 2.0 automotive testing
In this segment of ultra-luxury sedans, the price is not logically the first purchase criterion. At this tariff altitude deviations therefore mean very little: to € 86,500 first prize, the BMW 730d 2015, however, remains the most interesting face of Mercedes S 350 Bluetec (€ 90,000 € 900 malus) and Audi A8 TDI Quattro 3 .0 (€ 87,610 € 1,600 malus), especially as its standard equipment appears higher (rear shelf and key tactile contact, controlled air suspension, adaptive driving mode and gestural commands delivered officio).
But, more than the price / equipment, this is the “freshness” of the model that defines the sales hierarchy: the first 7 months of 2015, France, 538 copies for the S-Class, Audi A8 146 against and 57 … BMW 7 Series legacy. In losing momentum in Europe, this segment is also attacked by atypical proposals internally (BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe to 150 sales, Audi A7 Sportback to 466 sales) and outside : Porsche Panamera (159 units) and some Tesla Model S, the 100% electric propulsion has attracted 379 buyers, placing second sale category!