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BMW details next 7 Series tech

Future now: The next-generation BMW 7 Series will be the world’s first volume car with remote-control parking.

Next-gen BMW 7 Series to lose up to 130kg while boosting safety and convenience gear


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21 Apr 2015

BMW’s electric 'i' series technology will flow straight into the next 7 Series flagship sedan, slashing weight and enhancing performance over the existing model.

The German car-maker this week unclothed its next flagship range, due in Australia late next year, highlighting extensive use of carbon-fibre and alloy to cut the car’s weight by up to 130kg.

Carbon-fibre is used to form the passenger cell but has secondary advantages in increasing the torsional rigidity and strength of the car.

BMW said with the cell in place, “sheet metal elements can be adjusted accordingly, allowing body weight to be significantly reduced”.

The platform and passenger cell, dubbed '35up' by BMW, will be used in the future for models from the 7 Series down to the 3 Series.

The exterior design of the next 7 Series is not expected to deviate too much from the current model that launched in 2009.

It has a wider, longer nose and lower roofline and features many of the elements of the Future Luxury Concept shown at the 2014 Beijing motor show.

Reports from Europe suggest the next 7 Series may have autonomous driving technology for use in some European cities. The technology is the result of a recent partnership between BMW and German automotive giant Continental.

Engines will remain similar to current powerplants, however the V12 may be dropped. A plug-in hybrid is likely, given BMW's shift into the technology that will first appear on the X5 xDrive40e.

BMW said air suspension will be standard, with a self-levelling function and the company’s electronic Dynamic Damper Control will also be included.

“Its electronically controlled dampers improve the primary and secondary ride of the sedan and sharpen its dynamic attributes,” BMW said.

“The latest update of the Integral Active Steering system, along with the first electromechanically driven Dynamic Drive roll stabilisation system, contribute to a further boost in comfort, dynamic prowess and assurance on the road in the new BMW 7 Series.”

The 7 Series will also have a touchscreen function to complement the iDrive controller, and the option of control by gestures which is a first for BMW.

“Hand movements detected by a 3D sensor control infotainment functions in an extremely intuitive and user-friendly fashion,” the company said.

“The gestures can be used for a number of functions, including controlling the volume in audio applications and accepting or rejecting incoming telephone calls.

“There is also the option of pairing a specific gesture with an individual choice of function.”

BMW claims the next 7 Series will be the world’s first volume production car with a remote control parking function, building on the self-parking tech available in a number of mainstream cars.

“Owners will be able to manoeuvre in or out of parking spaces or garages without anyone at the wheel,” BMW said.

“The remote control parking option thus allows drivers to access extremely tight parking spaces. Using the likewise newly developed BMW Display Key, the driver can prompt the car to enter or exit a parking space fully automatically.”

The model will expand its safety equipment, including as standard or optional a more sophisticated Driving Assistant Plus with steering and directional control assistant, Lane Departure Warning Assistant with active side collision protection, and rear collision prevention and cross-traffic warning functions.

“When using the Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go function, a press of a button now suffices to acknowledge speed restrictions detected by the Speed Limit Info function,” BMW said.

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