The BMW 7 Series cars uphold a tradition of building some of the most dynamic and exhilarating large luxury sedans in the world.
Completely redesigned for 2009, the fifth-generation 7 Series line expands for 2010. For the first time, the BMW 750i and BMW 750Li xDrive models bring all-wheel drive to BMW's largest sedan. The new V12-powered BMW 760Li can be considered the ultimate 7 Series, measured by both performance and luxury. All 2010 BMW 7 Series models add BMW's Brake Energy Regeneration system, which captures some of the energy lost as the car slows to a stop and uses it to charge the battery.
The 2010 7 Series sedan comes in standard and long versions, designated by an L in the numeric nomenclature. The 750Li and 760Li have a wheelbase that's 5.5 inches longer than the 750i. They're a little harder to parallel park, but they offer a ride that's even more luxurious due to the longer wheelbase along with considerably more rear-seat leg room.
The 750Li and 750i feature a new-generation V8 engine, with direct fuel injection and twin turbocharging. This 4.4-liter V8 makes 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, awesome numbers for an engine its size, while using less fuel than its predecessor to get occupants around town. It's matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. Optional all-wheel drive adds all-climate capability without ruining the 7 Series' sporty handling characteristics. The 760Li ups the ante with a 535-hp V12 and an eight-speed automatic.
Weight-efficient construction and innovative chassis technology contribute to the lively driving dynamics that many expect from a BMW, especially high-end models like the 7 Series. Crash protection has been enhanced, despite the use of lighter chassis materials, though most models have gained a bit of weight compared to their predecessors, thanks to more standard equipment and comfort-related features.
The long-wheelbase cars have their own roofline, and the silhouette is sleeker than ever. The body has no transparently gratuitous scoops or scallops, and the car's size and lines clearly say eighty-five thousand bucks (roughly the base price), or one-hundred thirty-seven thousand, in the case of the 760Li.
The 7 Series interior is classy and luxurious, as buyers should expect. It's like a roomy, richly appointed cocoon protecting occupants from an ornery world, though some of the controls and features can be overly complicated. Just about every safety, comfort or convenience feature invented to date for the automobile is available on the 7 Series. Yet what really distinguishes these cars is their dynamic verve: a combination of response, acceleration, smooth ride and sharp handling that few if any large sedans can match.
Beyond its expansion of the 7 Series line for 2010, BMW has already tipped its hand with three more models expected to reach showrooms by late spring. The 2011 740i and 740Li will be powered by BMW's 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-6 engine. The 2011 Alpina B7 will be a hot rod 7 Series created with the help of German aftermarket tuner Alpina.