BMW’s 2016 7 Series loses 286 pounds and changes settings at the wave of a hand

BMW’s upcoming 7 Series redesign is incredibly important for the German automaker. With attractive, technologically advanced rivals like the new Mercedes-Benz S-class, and potent performance challengers like Jaguar XJR, the 2016 7 Series needs to raise the bar in terms of style, efficiency, and driving dynamics.

Now that BMW has released its list of technical upgrades for the sixth generation flagship, we can see if Bimmer has done enough.

One of the most significant differences from the current car is the loss of 130 kilos/286 pounds thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The construction of the redesigned 7 Series was inspired by the heavy use of CFRP on BMW’s i-series models.

Next up is the engine and transmission. While we don’t have official output specs, we do know a lightened, more efficient 3.0-liter TwinPower turbo inline six-cylinder will be available for 2016. The entry-level motor is rumored to be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with a hybrid option to be introduced later. And most exciting, the 760i will use the 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 from Rolls Royce.

Regardless of engine choice, all new 7 Series models will be paired with an optimized version of BMW’s Steptronic eight-speed automatic that provides navigation-assisted gear changes (technology that also comes from Rolls-Royce).

In terms of driving dynamics, BMW is introducing a two-axle air suspension system that automatically self-levels and dynamically adjusts the dampers. To access the full potential of the new system, BMW has added an “adaptive” mode on its selectable driving control unit which uses driver inputs to adjust suspension behavior. Basically, the more aggressively you drive, the stiffer the ride becomes, and visa versa.

Inside, BMW has added new functionality for its iDrive infotainment system. A touch display has been integrated to control all convenience features, and a new “Gesture Control” system is on hand to allow pre-defined hand movements to control certain infotainment functions.

Finally, safety and convenience technology have been improved significantly. You can now park your 7 Series via BMW’s Display Key while outside the vehicle. And to keep you from ruining the brand new carbon-fiber lightened body, BMW has added a few new safety goodies. Standard is a rear collision prevention system and cross-traffic alerts. For an added fee, you can add steering and directional control (the steering wheel will adjust itself to stay within the lanes), lane departure warning, and active side collision prevention.

With this new information available, it stands to reason that the official reveal of the next generation 7 Series is just around the corner.

Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.