It may not look vastly different, but BMW's updated 7-series is more efficient, powerful and comfortable. Should Audi's A8 and Jaguar's XJ be worried?
Published on Apr 30, 2013 07:22:00 PM
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It may not look very different from the old car, but trust us, there’s more to the updated 7-series than meets the eye. BMW has worked on making its luxury yacht more efficient, more powerful and more comfortable. Yes, that’s possible. So what makes this car so different? The big addition, the new eight-speed gearbox, is the reason this car is much more efficient and quicker than the previous 7. The new gearbox is a huge improvement on the old six-speeder – it’s quick and shifts smoothly in any gear. And thanks to the new gearbox, you can maintain really high speeds at really low rpms, automatically improving cruising ability and efficiency.
The upgraded 730Ld we’re driving uses the same 2993cc straight-six diesel motor as before. It gets a slight bump in power, just 9bhp, and since the gearbox has eight ratios to play with, the gears are more tightly stacked. Which explains why it gets from 0-100kph in 6.6sec, almost a second quicker than the old car. It’s in the mid-range that the fun starts, and the free revving nature of the motor means there’s no let-up in power all the way to the redline. The steering weighs up well and the combination of engine and gearbox gives this car performance that its unwieldy size looks incapable of. Importantly, the 7-series now comes with an Eco Pro mode, where it automatically dulls throttle responses and adjusts the air-con to reduce the load on the engine.
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