Touch display, gesture control among features of the all-new BMW 7 Series

Posted on Mar 7 2016 - 3:33pm by Melba Bernad

The all-new BMW 7 Series was unveiled in the Philippines recently by Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC), the official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines.

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Loaded with groundbreaking automotive and software technologies, the BMW 7 is a masterpiece of BMW, the German company known for producing high-performing luxury cars.

Only for the rich, the BMW 7 Series is definitely one of the most technologically-advanced cars in the market today. New technologies include carbon core that reduces overall weight by up to 130kg, and a full suite of innovations like Touch Command, Gesture control, Sky Lounge with Panorama Glass Roof, just to name a few.

“This all-new BMW 7 Series embodies our quest for modern mobility, the highest quality and absolute precision. This is truly a masterpiece from BMW, and probably the best car we have ever built,” said ACC President Maricar Parco.

The all-new BMW 740Li will be the main variant to be offered to the Philippine market, while only a handful of the range-topping BMW 750Li will be readily made available.

UpgradeMag.com was invited to the exclusive gala launch held on March 3 to check out the features of this awesome car. The following are 13 innovations that make this car truly redefine “driving luxury.”

1. Touch display and BMW gesture control

The iDrive operating system’s Control Display comes in the form of a touch display for the first time in the all-new BMW 7 Series in conjunction with the standard Professional Navigation system. Numerous functions can be selected and activated by simply touching the screen’s surface.

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By making specific hand movements in the vicinity of the center console, where they are registered by a 3D sensor, commonly used infotainment system functions can be controlled very intuitively and conveniently. The various gestures serve, for instance, to adjust the audio volume, control the 3D surround view display and accept or reject incoming phone calls. PHOTO BY MELBA BERNAD

The iDrive system also comes with the standard BMW gesture control, which is being premiered in the all-new BMW 7 Series. By making specific hand movements in the vicinity of the center console, where they are registered by a 3D sensor, commonly used infotainment system functions can be controlled very intuitively and conveniently. The various gestures serve, for instance, to adjust the audio volume, control the 3D surround view display and accept or reject incoming phone calls.

2. Six-cylinder in-line engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology

The BMW 740Li is powered by a six-cylinder in-line engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The new power unit’s crankcase, cylinder head and oil sump are all made from aluminum. The TwinScroll turbocharger features an indirect system of charge air cooling that is incorporated into the intake manifold and works in unison with High Precision Direct Injection, the very latest version of VALVETRONIC and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing.

Not only has the efficiency of the new straight-six engine been increased, its response is even more spontaneous as well. As a result, the all-new BMW 740Li produces an output of 326 hp (+6hp vs predecessor) and a maximum torque of up to 450 Nm from 1,380 to 5,000 rpm. It is able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds. It has an average fuel consumption of 6.6 litres/100km (improved by 16% vs predecessor) and an average CO2 emission of 154 g/km (improved by 16% vs predecessor), based on the average EU test cycle.

The BMW 750Li, meanwhile, is powered by a V8 unit that has undergone extensive redevelopment, boasting a displacement of 4.4 litres and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with the turbochargers located in the V-shaped space between the banks of cylinders in proven fashion. It now comes equipped with TwinScroll turbochargers featuring flow-separated, bank-specific exhaust manifolds made from thin-wall castings that promote greater engine efficiency.

As a result of all these modifications, the BMW 750Li produces an output of 450 hp and a maximum torque of up to 650 Nm from 1,800 to 4,500 rpm. It is able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds (improved by 0.1 second). It has an average fuel consumption of 8.0 litres/100km (improved by 8% vs predecessor) and an average CO2 emission of 187 g/km (improved by 6% vs predecessor), again, based on the average EU test cycle.

3. Active chassis control system

The new BMW 7 boasts of a chassis control system with active roll stabilization and anticipatory damper control.

Making its debut in the BMW 7 Series range is Executive Drive Pro. This active chassis control system (standard on 750Li, optional on 740Li), works in unison with the 2-axle air suspension and the Dynamic Damper Control to achieve a remarkable standard of suspension, damping and vibration comfort. It comprises the newly refined version of the Dynamic Drive system for reducing rolling movement at the front and rear axle.

For the first time, active roll stabilization is now carried out electromechanically, allowing the body roll forces to be equalized particularly swiftly and precisely when taking bends at speed. When driving in a straight line, the adjustable anti-roll bars are set so as to allow the suspension system the greatest possible freedom of movement for increased comfort.

What’s more, the new system is also more energy efficient compared to hydraulic control. Executive Drive Pro also incorporates an anticipatory chassis control function.

4. Refined version of integral active steering

A further refined version of the Integral Active Steering system is available as standard for the BMW 7 Series. With it, the rear wheels help to steer and provide more driving stability, safety and comfort.

When traveling under 60 km/h, the front and rear wheels steer in opposing directions to reduce the turning circle and ensure every bend is taken with precision. This is very helpful when the driver is parking or negotiating hairpin bends with small turning circle because fewer movements and more precision are enabled.

When traveling above 60 km/h, the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction to ensure more stability at higher speeds. This is extremely helpful when changing lanes because the vehicle practically ‘glides’ in an even sideways motion, which makes it extremely comfortable for all the vehicle’s occupants and especially so for those in the rear.

5. Carbon core reduces weight of the BMW 7

Intelligent lightweight engineering has reduced the weight of the BMW 7 Series models by up to 130 kilograms compared to their previous generation counterparts. This is in spite of all the newly added innovations that would have increased the overall weight, namely the new chassis technology.

At the center of it all is the body structure with Carbon Core, a product of the transfer of technology from the development of the BMW i8. The BMW 7 Series is the first car in its segment in which industrially-manufactured CFRP combines with steel and aluminum.

6. Air suspension and Dynamic Damper control

The BMW 7 Series offers drivers more freedom of choice for configuring the ideal vehicle set-up, which means they can now opt for even sportier handling or greater ride comfort as they wish. The selection is made using the standard Driving Experience Control switch.

With its double-joint front axle, five-link rear axle and Electric Power Steering, the BMW 7 Series comes with all the right ingredients for precise, assured and harmonious handling characteristics. The inclusion of the 2-axle self-leveling air suspension as standard furthermore endows the luxury sedan models with notably superior ride comfort. The suspension is supplied with air by an electrically powered compressor with pressure reservoir. This means that even when the engine is switched off, the height of the vehicle body is adjusted to keep it at a constant level regardless of the load being carried. And because the air supply is controlled individually for each wheel, it is even possible to compensate for an unevenly distributed load.

The level control can additionally be operated manually, allowing the vehicle’s ride height to be raised by 20 millimeters when driving along a rough stretch of road or in multistory car parks with particularly steep ramps, for instance. At speeds above 35 km/h, the level control automatically reverts to its standard setting.

When SPORT mode is activated with the Driving Experience Control switch, on the other hand, the ride height automatically drops by 10 millimeters when traveling at high speed. The advantages of the air suspension at the front and rear axle can be appreciated thanks to the standard Dynamic Damper Control.

The electronically controlled dampers improve ride and suspension comfort at the same time as adding to the sedan’s dynamic handling qualities. A variety of modes can be engaged using the Driving Experience Control switch, which serve to foster either driving comfort (COMFORT, COMFORT+ modes) or sporty, agile handling (SPORT mode).

For the first time, an ADAPTIVE mode can also be selected in the all-new BMW 7 Series via the standard Driving Experience Control switch. With this setting activated, the vehicle set-up is matched to the current driving style and changing route profile in adaptive, clearly perceptible fashion. The control logic reacts to movement of the accelerator and steering wheel, and also factors in whether the gear selector is in the D or S position.

Depending on the driving situation, the powertrain and chassis systems are configured for either sporty or comfortable performance. On models fitted with the navigation system Professional, map data is also taken into account in order to select the ideal vehicle set-up for instance when switching from urban driving to the motorway, on winding roads or when approaching a road junction.

7. Refined version of Integral Active Steering system

A further refined version of the Integral Active Steering system is available as standard for the all-new BMW 7 Series. With it, the rear wheels help to steer and provide more driving stability, safety and comfort.

When traveling under 60 km/h, the front and rear wheels steer in opposing directions to reduce the turning circle and ensure every bend is taken with precision. This is very helpful when the driver is parking or negotiating hairpin bends with small turning circle because fewer movements and more precision are enabled.

Yet, when traveling above 60 km/h, the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction to ensure more stability at higher speeds. This is extremely helpful when changing lanes because the vehicle practically ‘glides’ in an even sideways motion, which makes it extremely comfortable for all the vehicle’s occupants and especially so for those in the rear.

8. Leather and massage chairs

The BMW 7’s Design Pure Excellence interior package features Exclusive Dakota leather trim for the 740Li and Exclusive Nappa leather trim for the 750Li. This includes extended features in Ivory White, among other colors, with contrast stitching, fine wood interior trim elements in American Oak and a full leather surface for the instrument panel and door panels in Atlas Grey with contrast stitching. The lower section of the instrument panel comes in matching colors of choice.

BMW 7 Series comes with Exclusive Dakota leather trim for the 740Li and Exclusive Nappa leather trim for the 750Li. PHOTO BY MELBA BERNAD

BMW 7 Series comes with Exclusive Dakota leather trim for the 740Li and Exclusive Nappa leather trim for the 750Li. PHOTO BY MELBA BERNAD

The new BMW 7 Series also comes standard with an equipment package that includes automatic air conditioning with 4-zone control, electrically adjustable comfort seats, active seat ventilation for all seats and the standard massage function in both the front and rear, along with the BMW Touch Command

The massage function for the driver and front passenger seats is activated via the iDrive controller and offers a choice of eight different massage functions in the backrest and seat surface in order to stimulate or relax muscles in a targeted manner, leading to less pressure on the spinal discs. These massage programmes can be set to one of three intensity levels.

The eight programmes are divided into the categories mobilization, relaxation and vitalization. The mobilization function not only massages individual body parts such as the pelvis or the upper back, but also the entire body. The back, shoulders and lumbar region are gently massaged by the relaxation function.

The vitalization function leads to a noticeable relaxation and invigoration of the body, which is particularly beneficial on long journeys. The same feature is offered for the rear passenger seats equipped with the Vitality Programme and Rear Seat Entertainment, controlled via the BMW Touch Command.

 

The BMW Touch Command is a removable tablet with a screen diagonal of 7 inches can be used from any seat and even when outside of the vehicle. It lets the occupants control comfort functions such as seat adjustment, interior lighting and air conditioning, as well as the infotainment, navigation and communication system. PHOTO BY BMW

The BMW Touch Command is a removable tablet with a screen diagonal of 7 inches can be used from any seat and even when outside of the vehicle. It lets the occupants control comfort functions such as seat adjustment, interior lighting and air conditioning, as well as the infotainment, navigation and communication system. PHOTO BY BMW

 

9. BMW Touch Command tablet

BMW Touch Command is an innovative new multifunctional control unit being offered in the all-new BMW 7 Series. This removable tablet with a screen diagonal of 7 inches can be used from any seat and even when outside of the vehicle. It lets the occupants control comfort functions such as seat adjustment, interior lighting and air conditioning, as well as the infotainment, navigation and communication system.

BMW Touch Command can also be used to play external audio and video files, as a games console or for surfing the internet.

The BMW Touch Command is an innovative new multifunctional control unit being offered in the all-new BMW 7 Series. This removable tablet with a screen diagonal of 7 inches can be used from any seat and even when outside of the vehicle. PHOTO BY MELBA BERNAD

BMW Touch Command can also be used to play external audio and video files, as a games console or for surfing the internet. PHOTO BY MELBA BERNAD

 

10. Ambient light, Ambient Air, Sky Lounge Panorama glass roof

The exclusive atmosphere inside the all-new BMW 7 Series can be accentuated by a precision-crafted lighting design. The standard Ambient light provides harmonious indirect illumination in the vicinity of the instrument panel, the door beltlines, the map pockets on the front seat backs, and in the footwells. Courtesy lights and illuminated bars on the door sills also form part of the specification.

There is a choice of six different colour variants for the lighting effects, which can be selected in the iDrive menu. Beyond this, there is also a standard Welcome Light Carpet.

Another unique feature is the Ambient highlight for the long-wheelbase versions of the all-new BMW 7 Series, which bathes the rear compartment in an atmospheric light from light sources positioned vertically on the B-pillars. Notably, while the iDrive menu or BMW Touch Command can control the entire lighting system within the car, the intensity of these B-pillar lights can be adjusted independently by means of contact sensors, if so desired.

Other standard features include the roller sunblinds for the rear side windows and rear window.

 

PHOTO BY MELBA BERNAD

PHOTO BY MELBA BERNAD

 

The BMW 7 Series also comes standard with a two-section Panorama glass roof with an opening front section. Exclusive though to the 750Li is the Sky Lounge Panorama glass roof that is quite unique in the luxury limousine segment. With this version of the roof, the light emitted by LED modules along the sides in the dark is spread evenly throughout the glass surface. Here, it strikes an imprinted graphic creating the magical effect of a starlit sky. As with the Ambient light, there is a choice of six different colour schemes for the lighting pattern. Both the moving glass section and the interior liner are electrically operated on all glass roof variants.

Meanwhile, another feature unique to the BMW 750Li is the Ambient Air package which offers yet more scope for enhancing one’s personal sense of well-being. It comprises functions for ionising the air and the fragrance of the vehicle’s interior with selected scents, both of which can be controlled from the air conditioning control console or the iDrive menu. Three levels of intensity can be set for the fragrance, and there is a choice of eight scents in all, two of which can be applied in the vehicle at the same time.

The BMW 7 Series also features Ambient light, Ambient Air, and the Sky Lounge Panorama glass roof. PHOTO BY BMW

The BMW 7 Series also features Ambient light, Ambient Air, and the Sky Lounge Panorama glass roof. PHOTO BY BMW

 

11. Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system

The 750Li is equipped with a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system, while the 740Li  features a Harman Kardon surround sound system for the 740Li.

A fully active 10-channel amplifier with an output of 1,400 watts and 16 partially illuminated speakers together produce an exceptionally precise and wonderfully rich sound in the cabin. In the process, dynamic sound equalizing with three analogue crossovers ensures uniform acoustic performance delivered to all seats.

The five acoustic scenarios on offer include, for example, “Concert”, which reproduces the acoustics experienced in a concert hall, and the “Cinema” setting, which provides cinema-like acoustics when watching a movie on the Rear-seat entertainment system.

11. Surround View camera-based functions

The BMW 7 Series also comes standard with Surround View, which includes the camera-based functions Rear view camera, Panorama View, Top View and 3D View. Cameras at the front and back of the exterior mirrors provide a 360° view around the vehicle. In addition to the simple depiction of the driving space to the rear, Top View offers the driver a look over the door and the lane area to the car sides for more convenient maneuvering.

In 3D View, a computer generated 3D view is shown simultaneously, for an even better overview when parking. Panorama View makes navigating in areas with low visibility, such as driveways or confusing intersections, safer. A digital camera on the front of the car captures the traffic situation in front of the vehicle. This enables early detection of oncoming traffic so that the driver can react appropriately.

The Panorama View function is automatically deactivated when the car reaches 15 km/h. The driver can switch between the three functions Top View, Panorama View and 3D View. The last selected function will be automatically reactivated when the system is next used. The camera systems are activated when the car is put into reverse or when either the PDC button or Panorama View buttons are pressed. The images captured by the cameras are then shown on the Control Display and can be interactively-controlled via Gesture Control to have a better view of the car’s surrounding without the need to even get out of it.

12. Anti-dazzle headlights

The new BMW 7 Series is the first car in its segment to come with the option of innovative laser headlights including BMW Selective Beam. BMW Laserlight, which made its debut on the BMW i8, provides a high-beam range of 600 metres that is twice the range of the powerful LED headlights. The risk of dazzling oncoming or preceding road users is reliably excluded by the integrated BMW Selective Beam anti-dazzle Highbeam assistant. The BMW Laserlight with Highbeam assistant comes standard on the BMW 750Li and is optionally available for the 740Li.

13. BMW Display Key

The BMW display key shows various information about the vehicle’s status and allows selected functions to be controlled via the integrated touch display. The time can be displayed, along with remaining fuel and current range, service notifications, as well as the current status of the central locking system, the windows and the glass roof. In addition, the following equipment can be operated via the BMW display key: Auxiliary heating. The BMW display key can be charged wirelessly, or with the included USB cable. This comes standard for the all-new BMW 7 Series.

So how much is this awesome car worth? According to ACC, the BMW 740Li costs Php8.89 million while the high-end BMW 750Li is valued at Php12.49 million.

 

The BMW display key shows various information about the vehicle's status and allows selected functions to be controlled via the integrated touch display. PHOTO BY BMW

The BMW display key shows various information about the vehicle’s status and allows selected functions to be controlled via the integrated touch display. PHOTO BY BMW

About the Author

MELBA V. BERNAD started her career as an IT journalist with Computerworld Philippines which she joined in December 1993. She was Editor of the publication when she left in March 2013. Melba is currently Manila-based Editor of Networks Asia (Singapore), SMBWorld Asia (Singapore), and CFO Innovation Asia (Hong Kong). She is a two-time awardee of the Catholic Mass Media Awards (Best News Coverage in 2003 and Best News Coverage (Print) in 2004). She was also an awardee of the first Philippine Cyberpress Journalism Award. Melba is a co-publisher and concurrent Editor in Chief of Upgrade Magazine.