The 7-Series uses a new system called Driving Dynamics Control, which interfaces with the air suspension and helps adjust to find the best compromise at any moment between suspension firmness and ride comfort. The system takes into consideration steering response, transmission shifts and engine power.
Newly available this year on the 750 models is xDrive all-wheel drive. Using an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, the xDrive system adjusts torque toward the wheels with the best traction and also interfaces with the steering and stability control. During normal driving, 60 percent of engine power is sent to the rear wheels.
The new 760Li model--only offered in the extended length--will feature a 537-horsepower, 6.0-liter V12 engine and 8-speed automatic, delivering power to the rear wheels. The 760Li should be able to accelerate to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. And as in past V12 models, the 760Li will deliver authoritative performance with only the most muted, refined growl from the exhaust.
A new ActiveHybrid 7 model, slated to go on sale late in the 2010 model year, pairs a 455-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 gasoline engine with an electric motor system. Power is delivered through an 8-speed automatic transmission, and a lithium-ion battery, mounted under the trunk floor, stores energy to be used by the motor. Overall, BMW anticipates 0-60 mph acceleration of 4.8 seconds and a 15-percent improvement in fuel economy versus the 750i, and the hybrid model maintains a 50/50 weight distribution so it should still handle well.
With the new M Sport Performance Package offered for 2010, the 7-Series can be given a sportier personality. Available with either the 750 or 760 models, it includes active roll stabilization for flatter cornering, plus a sport steering wheel, aerodynamic kit, and special trim and color schemes.
The 7-Series has a reputation for being one of the safest and most technology-loaded cars in the world. Safety features include front side airbags, rear head-protecting side bags, side-curtain bags, knee bags and active head restraints. Among the useful and outrageous tech features are a head-up display, side-view cameras, and a blind-spot detection system, while comfort goodies include ventilated active seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats. A BMW Individual Composition customization program helps buyers order special trims and color combinations to suit their tastes.