2019 BMW 7 Series: two plug-in versions of flagship saloon announced

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Author: | Updated: 01 Feb 2019 10:04

A refreshed BMW 7 Series has been revealed, with the flagship saloon featuring a new look, fresh tech as well as new plug-in hybrid drivetrain options. Here’s what we know so far…

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BMW 7 Series

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On the outside, the most noticeable design change is the iconic kidney grille. Taking inspiration from the all-new X7 SUV, it’s significantly larger and gives the front of the car a completely new look. It also means the bonnet line has been raised, while the headlights are thinner than before and cut upwards.

There are now air vents incorporated into the front bumper, while an additional set can now be found behind the front wheels. Less notable changes include a chrome strip that runs along the bottom of the doors, a fresh rear bumper with a new tailpipe design and a fresh set of alloy wheels.

BMW 7 Series 2019 interior

Read more: BMW 8 Series Coupe now available to lease

Inside, changes are less dramatic and things are relatively unchanged – on the surface at least. There’s now a 10.25in central touchscreen that features the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, a leather steering wheel with controls for driver assistance systems, some additional wood trim options and a revised wireless charging set-up.

Engine-wise, the plug-in hybrid option is available in two variants: the BMW 745e and the BMW 745Le xDrive, the latter of which gets intelligent all-wheel drive. These feature a six-cylinder petrol unit rather than a four-cylinder.

The 745e has a maximum electric range of between 34-36 miles depending on driving conditions, while the 745Le xDrive aims to achieve an electrically powered range of 32-34 miles. Electronically limited to a top speed of 155mph, the 745e accelerates from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds while the 745Le xDrive cuts that by a smidge to 5.1 seconds.

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In terms of power modes, Hybrid serves as the standard setting and balances interaction between the combustion engine and electric motor. Pressing the Hybrid button twice helps reduce fuel consumption further and includes controlled coasting.

It is also possible to select Electric mode as the standard setting via the iDrive menu. This mode is ideal for urban areas, while a distinctive sound is used for acoustic pedestrian protection.

In Sport mode, the electric motor is used solely in support of the combustion engine and keeps the battery charge state at a level determined by the driver. So when driving on a motorway, the power reserves can be saved or even increased to be used later for local emissions-free driving.

Other options include the 750i – a 4.4-litre turbocharged V8 that now gets 523bhp – significantly more than the outgoing model. The range-topping petrol remains the 6.6-litre V12. Diesel engines are still offered, with the range made up of a six-cylinder unit badged as the 730d, 740d and 750d.

All models now feature adaptive suspension as standard, while BMW’s Steptronic eight-speed automatic gearbox has been updated, as has the reverse assist function.

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UK release date and list prices are to be confirmed, but order books are likely to open in spring. In the meantime, you can check out lease deals on the outgoing 7 Series by clicking here, or find out more about BMW’s new flagship SUV – the X7.

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