2008 L.A. Auto Show – 2009 BMW 7-Series0
BMW used the 2008 Los Angeles International Auto Show to launch its new 2009 7-Series flagship. The primary changes to the 7-Series include revised interior and exterior styling and an improved iDrive system. I guess “revised” may be too mild a word, but even though practically every exterior body panel (except the roof) is new, the 7-Series does not look much different.
At a glance, the primary differentiator between the 2009 7-Series and its predecessor is the pronounced character line running down its bodyside just below the windows. The styling of the front end has evolved a bit with a stronger looking hood surface and front fascia. The headlamps include translucent eyelids and have the subtle halo lighting first seen in the 5-Series several years ago. The Bangle Butt is less pronounced and now the rear end of the Seven looks much more conventional.
Details are important and BMW’s signature cue – the Hofmeister kink at the rear of the DLO (daylight opening) is shadowed in the sheetmetal. Nice touch, but very, very subtle.
You can still show the profile of the 7-Series and Lexus LS460 and not be able to tell the difference.
7-Series Instrument Panel – Rows of Buttons In Addition to iDrive
The interior of the new 7-Series is extremely spacious (especially in the long wheelbase iL version) and well-appointed. The rap on the predecessor 7-Series was that its iDrive was incomprehensible and, in the early days, there was no redundancy to avoid iDrive.
BMW was known for years as the master of ergonomics but lost that title with the predecessor Seven. With the new 7-Series, the pendulum may have swung too much the other way. The human machine interface includes an iDrive controller (smaller than the previous hockey puck) and then rows of buttons providing redundancy to the iDrive interface. The shift lever is no longer the small switch at the top of the instrument panel within a finger’s reach of the steering wheel but returns to the more conventional location in the center of the console.
German manufacturers avoid touch screen navigation systems like the plague (even though 83% of American drivers would prefer touch screen over use of a toggle/button system0, and BMW is no different. The very large high definition screen is excellent, but programming a destination is a challenge.
Better, but the Seven likely will not pass the rental car test where you can drive off from the rental car lot at midnight in the rain after having intuitively adjusted the HVAC system, audio, and navigation.
4.4L V8 Continues
The 750 is powered by BMW’s outstanding 4.4L DOHC V8 with 400 horsepower and 450 lb ft of torque. Seamless, powerful, envigorating, the BMW V8 provides effortless motoring for people expecting the Ultimate Driving Machine.