The production version of the all-new 2016 BMW 7 Series has bowed revealing a cleaner, more contemporary sedan with state of the art technology.  The new 7 Series features the latest forms of BMW EfficientDynamics powertrains and user-focused control/connectivity functions to ensure the sixth generation of this flagship remains a class leader. Two versions are headed to U.S. showrooms this fall: the rear-drive 2016 BMW 740i and all-wheel drive 2016 BMW 750i xDrive. Both will be sold here exclusively in long-wheelbase form. BMW also confirmed they'll be joined in 2016 by a new plug-in hybrid model, the 740e xDrive. And don't be surprised to see even more variations on the new 7 Series theme heading to America at some point.

Slimmer, sleeker 7

Exterior dimensions of the 2016 7 Series models are nearly identical to the long-wheelbase 2015 cars, however, they weigh up to 190 pounds less than their predecessors despite gaining more standard equipment. The secret lies in in an all-new Carbon Core passenger cell. Borrowed from BMW's "i" family line of EV/plug-ins, tge technology melds strategically positioned CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) with lightweight alloys and ultra-high-strength steel to trim weight while increasing strength and rigidity. This focus on lightness also resulted in  new chassis elements and running gear, which reduces unsprung weight by nearly 15 percent, lowers the overall center of gravity and delivers 50/50 front/rear balance which greatly enhances handling. 

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Improved form also complements superior functionality on the sleek exterior of the new BMW 7 Series. In addition to the 7's first-ever use of an aluminum hood and front fenders, the bolder front fascia of this smooth, stylish sedan complements BMW's familiar Air Curtain/Air Breather elements with a new Active Kidney Grille. It adds articulated vertical "mini-bars" along with movable flaps in the lower intake that automatically open or shut to optimize intake flow under all driving conditions. Coupled with full underbody cladding and tidier exterior mirrors, the setup reduces overall drag by 15 percent. Setting off the new look are full LED front/rear lighting systems and 18-inch or 19-inch wheel/tire fitments. For a more aggressive take, the BMW offers a new M Sport Package with a full aerodynamic kit, upsized M-spec light alloy wheels and other M-style accents. 

Ramping up ride comfort and handling 

To keep true to BMW's Ultimate Driving Machine pedigree, the 2016 7 Series is underpinned by a redesigned double-wishbone front/multilink rear self-leveling air suspension with a multi-mode Dynamic Damper Control system that automatically raises and lowers ride height. Working with an upgraded Driving Dynamics Control that adds an Adaptive mode capable of automatically tweaking the full range of system settings in real-time, it can be further enhanced by two options. These include a revised 4-wheel Integral Active Steering system and a new Active Comfort Control with Road Preview package. The latter electromechanically enhances roll stability quicker and more efficiently than the Dynamic Drive system it replaces and also anticipates and optimizes chassis settings for the route ahead using GPS data supplied by the car's standard navigation system. 

Elevated interior appeal 

The leather-clad cabin of the 7 Series benefits from a striking update of its own. Beyond offering a more contemporary look and greater passenger space than any of its predecessors, it boasts a new Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster with a 12.3-inch driver-selectable display, the latest iDrive 5.0 multimedia system that features both touchscreen technology and the world's first automotive Gesture Control system, 4-zone climate control, a dual-element Panoramic moonroof, LED Ambiance lighting and wireless phone charging as standard. 

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Options include a new Head-Up Display - standard on the 750i xDrive - a studio-grade 1400-watt Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound audio system, Night Vision with 3D Surround mode, a rear-seat entertainment package with two 10-inch main screens and a Luxury Rear Seating Package that brings ventilated Comfort Seats with a massage mode. The Rear Executive Lounge Seating Package offers even more space and additional comfort/convenience touches for anyone sitting behind the passenger-side front seat. The huge 18.7 cu ft trunk also offers a new Comfort Access hands-free opening/closing option. 

As expected, the 2016 BMW 7 Series matches a comprehensive array of standard driver/safety assists and the embedded BMW ConnectedDrive system with a variety of options. Heading that list is a new generation of BMW's Active Driving Assistant/Assistant Plus and Parking Assistant that features semi-autonomous operating capabilities and affords better protection for both passengers and pedestrians.  

Powertrains include a new plug-in hybrid

Motivation for the new 7 Series sedans will come in two forms at launch. The rear-drive 2016 740i is fitted with a new 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-6 that makes 320 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque while the AWD 750i xDrive carries an upgraded version of the 4.4-liter dual-turbo TwinPower Turbo V8 that now develops 445 horses and 480 lb-ft of peak twist. Both are backed by an 8-speed paddle-shiftable Steptronic Sport Automatic transmission linked into the navigation system. Along with new operational programming, this state-of-the-art gearbox incorporates efficiency-enhancing Auto Start Stop and Brake Energy Regeneration. Coming next year, the BMW 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid will pair a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor integrated into its Steptronic transmission. No word on total output, but BMW says the 740e xDrive will have a maximum EV range of 23 miles and reach speeds up to 75 mph in zero-emissions mode.

Pricing for the new 2016 BMW 740i will start at $81,300 while the 2016 BMW 750i xDrive is set to open at $97,400, although neither of those figures include destination fees which BMW has yet to finalize but currently stand at $950. The 740e xDrive will be priced closer to its launch.

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