MUNICH, GERMANY – BMW has released information on its U.S.-spec, fifth-generation 2009 BMW 7 Series, which is due in the United States early next year. With updated styling, lightweight construction, a new twin-turbo V-8, and new safety, technology, and luxury features, BMW’s latest flagship represents another significant leap ahead, according to Available in the United States in normal and long-wheelbase versions as the 750i and 750Li, the new 7 Series sports fluid, cohesive lines and a muscular appearance. Rounder headlamps flank BMW’s signature kidney grille treatment, and the controversial “Bangle-butt” rear of the previous car is now a more traditional design that highlights the sedan’s wide stance.


The car’s interior features a clean look and many controls accessible from a new three-spoke, multifunction steering wheel. BMW’s new “Black Panel” technology makes much of the instrument cluster appear blank when not in use, and the new transmission lever moves back to its traditional place on the console. BMW is also using its E-shift system; the transmission features an entirely electronic control that’s “tipped” in one direction or another to select drive or reverse. Park is engaged by pressing a button.

The 750i and 750Li also features the new iDrive, which has a larger, 10.2-in. screen (up from 8.8 in.) and revised menus that are more intuitive. The iDrive controller allows turn, push, and tilt motions instead of the basic scroll wheel of the last-generation car. To increase usability further, four direct-select buttons bypass the controller entirely for major functions, and there are eight programmable memory buttons to execute any task the driver wants. Many functions also can be accessed via voice commands. The 750i and 750Li also include features such as a new GPS system with enhanced 3D topographical details, Internet access via the automaker’s new ConnectedDrive system, and a stereo featuring a 40-gig hard drive, DVD player, auxiliary input, and optional iPod interface.