Further leveraging its "EfficientDynamics" philosophy that swaps pure displacement for better economy and emissions with no loss of overall performance, BMW announced plans to introduce a pair of 7 Series sedans here next spring fitted with a more potent, more efficient version of its 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine. Like their twin-turbo V8/V12-powered 750/760-spec kin, the new 2011 740i and long-wheelbase 740Li sedans also will offer full complement of 7 Series upgrades, including the M Sport Package, Driver Assistance Package, Luxury Seating Packages, Rear Entertainment Package and BMW's Individual Composition Package.

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While these latest members of the 7 Series lineup share their six-cylinder engine with the smaller 5 Series, BMW has upped the horsepower rating from 300 to 315 in this application and bumped peak torque from 300 to 330 lb-ft -- all of which is available from 1,600-4,500 rpm -- to help offset the additional demands of motivating its larger, heavier flagship sedan. Output will be sent to the rear wheels only via a six-speed computer-controlled intelligent automatic transmission.

No word on exactly how much better the fuel economy will be in the six-cylinder cars; but based on the 17/26 mpg city/highway EPA ratings for a 535i sedan and the 15/22 mpg marks for a 750i, its seems likely that the new 740i will come in around 16/25 mpg and the stretched 740Li a tad lower. BMW says the 740i's projected 5.8-5.9-second 0-60 mph time will make it as quick as the previous-generation 750i that was fitted with a naturally-aspirated 4.8-liter V8. Pricing won't be released until closer to their on-sale date, but expect the 740i to open around $75,000 and the 740Li to start closer to the $80K mark, figures that would make them significantly less expensive than their 750i/Li counterparts.

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