New BMW 7 Series revealed
NEW BMW 7 SERIES - ONLINE leaks have become comically common when it comes to new cars, with the 'accidental leak' headline supposed to pique our interest.
The latest 'accident' occurred with BMW's new 7 Series, when the company's Austrian arm displayed pictures of the new luxury barge on its online configurator a few days before its official reveal.
BMW probably didn't mind the extra exposure, and quickly made sure all the information on its sixth-generation executive limousine was made available to all.
As expected, next year's 7 is larger and more crammed with technology than ever before to target its Mercedes S-Class rival.
Due to land in Australia at the end of the year, exact specifications and engine line-ups for us are not yet known as the reveal only gave European information.
Key features include BMW's Carbon Core, where carbon fibre reinforced plastic helps reduce weight by up to 130kg.
It also introduces a new generation of power units and sharper design incorporating the new "laser light" laser-based front lights, as seen in the i8 supercar.
A few tasters to ensure chauffeured VIPs feel suitably privileged include an Executive Lounge feature with massage function, an 18cm tablet computer, Sky Lounge panoramic glass roof, Welcome Light carpet and Ambient Air package that generates a selection of eight aromas. Tasty.
There's even a Vitality Program, which BMW said "allows rear passengers to engage in active physical exercise for recuperation purposes". Make of that what you will; it is a limo, after all.
Meanwhile, the driver can enjoy the fascinating BMW gesture control, where volume control and accepting calls are controlled by hand movements.
For the first time, iDrive is through a touch-screen monitor, there's a new head-up display and a suite of safety features, including a Surround View with 3D View and a remote control parking system if the task seems too arduous.
Engines for Europe (we're yet to learn what Australia will receive) will be a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six for the 740i and 740Li; a 3.0-litre turbo diesel straight-six for the 730d, 730Ld, 730d xDrive and 730Ld xDrive; and a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 for the 750i xDrive and 750Li xDrive. All will come with eight-speed auto transmissions.
BMW will use technology from its "i" cars to offer a plug-in hybrid 740e variant - also available as a 740Le and 740Le xDrive four-wheel drive - featuring a four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor generating a total of 240kW while returning a claimed 2.1-litres/100km.
BMW's current 7 Series range retails for between $206,200 and $391,175 before on-roads, so expect more of the same when the 2016 variant arrives here at year's end.