BMW 7 Series (2002–2009)
All-new Chris Bangle designed 7 Series. 5,029mm (16' 6") long x 1,902mm (6' 3") wide. L is 5" longer at 5,169mm (16' 11") and is better proportioned.
Has then-new 'iDrive' dashboard ergonomics which separate the cabin into a 'comfort area' and a 'driving area'. Most secondary functions are operated by a single central controller and the result is a big reduction in the number of buttons and switches. A central monitor displays the various functions and chosen settings. All the controls in the 'comfort area' of the car can be operated by either driver or front seat passenger.
Gear selection of new six-speed automatic is controlled via a steering column stalk plus Steptronic buttons on the steering wheel rim. The ignition switch is controlled by a new electronic key and the engine is started and stopped by a button.
Launch choice of two V8s: a 272bhp 3.6 with 256 lb ft (360Nm) torque, or a 333bhp 4.4 with 332 lb ft (450Nm) torque. Combining VANOS variable valve timing with new Valvetronic technology and variable intake manifolding improves both power output and economy. Combined fuel consumption for the 735i is 26.4mpg and for the 745i is 25.9mpg. Both cars are speed limited to 155mph with the 735i getting to sixty in 7.3 seconds and the 745i managing it in 6.1 seconds.
Other engines from 2003 include 331bhp 3.0 straight six and 218bhp 3.0 straight six and a top of the range 6.0 litre 400bhp V12. Prices are £52,750 for 735i, £56,950 for 745i, £46,850 for the 730i and £44,555 for the 730d. 730d does 0-60 in 7.7 seconds, goes on to 146mph, delivers 33.2mpg combines and puts out 227g/km CO2.
One-off 'tlc' fee of £500 covers servicing and maintenance for the first 5 years or 75,000 miles. Price includes engine oil and filters, wiper blades, brake pads and discs, spark plugs, air filters, cabin filter, brake fluid and coolant. Improved unlimited mileage two year full manufacturer warranty followed by one year full dealer warranty, making total three year unlimited mileage warranty.
218bhp six-speed automatic 730D in UK March 2003. Offers useful 500Nm (369lb ft) torque between relatively high 2,000 - 2,750rpm, 146mph top speed and 7.7 second 0-60mph, so is quicker than Mercedes S320 CDI.
Totally awesome Alpina B7 has supercharged 500bhp 4.4 V8 and 6-speed autobox with steering wheel pushbutton change. Gets to 60 in under 5 seconds and on to nearly 200mph. 160mph plus in 5th. 7-Series Facelift from February 2005, with cleaner, smoother, 'friendlier' look. 730d best seller of the range.
Facelifted January 2005. New self-cleaning Xenon headlights, bumper and grille. More power.
'Hydrogen 7' demonstrated in 2007. Petrol or hydrogen 'Bivalent' engine. Emits only water vapour running on hydrogen. 12-6-07 Hydrogen 7 presented to London Deputy Mayor of London and London Hydrogen Partnership Chair, Nicky Gavron (but only for a week).
3 year UNLIMITED MILEAGE warranty from 2005.