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BMW's all-new flagship 7 Series sedan is something to savour

17 Feb 2009

BMW’s fifth-generation 7 Series limousine arrives in Australia with new turbocharged V6 and V8 petrol engines – and with a diesel on the near horizon – priced from just over $200,000 to almost $300,000. The latest Bavarian flagship models embody the company’s new ‘Efficient Dynamics’ philosophy, with more performance and even better driving enjoyment combined with lower fuel consumption and emissions compared with the previous non-turbo V8 and V12 engines. And everywhere you look in this luxury saloon are the attention to detail and technical refinement for which BMW is renown, along with enough party tricks to impress your neighbours. If you don’t mind the styling, this could be your ultimate luxury saloon for the 21st century.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 February 2009 to 1 October 2015

Previous model

E65 7 Series sedan

Released: June 2005
Ended: February 2009
Family Tree: 7 Series

BMW turned the market on its ear with both the polarising rear-end styling of the E65 7 Series saloon as well as interior packaging that featured the now familiar iDrive, a computer mouse/joystick device on the centre console that controlled most of the car’s electronic systems, leaving a largely uncluttered and yet rather unattractive dash. The car introduced a new ZF six-speed automatic gearbox and power came from a 3.6-litre V8 developing 200kW/360Nm (735i), a 4.4-litre V8 with 245kW/450Nm (745i) or a 6.0-litre V12 with 327kW/600Nm (760i). Long-wheelbase models carried the E66 code and included an ‘L’ in the model name (eg: 745Li). In mid-2005, the Bavarian company introduced a mid-life facelift that toned-down the styling and simplified the iDrive operation, but also saw some confusing model and engine changes. The 735i was replaced with the 740i (with a 4.0-litre V8 producing 225kW/390Nm) and the 745i was replaced by the 750i (4.8-litre 270kW/490Nm V8), while the 760i was unchanged. In June 2007, Executive and Sport models were added with appropriate extra standard equipment.

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