By on July 3, 2008

v574103duzamhkl.jpgWithout much fanfare, BMW has debuted its redesigned 7-Series sedan. A supposed riff on the svelte CS Concept, the new 7 is certainly less chunky than its 2002 – 2008 predecessor. While the outgoing generation (that's E65 or E66 to BMW folks) broke the styling mold, the 2009 model is no ground-breaker. To these jaundiced eyes, it looks a lot like the current gen Lexus LS with a BMW front-end grafted on. The letter-box pipes are a particularly shameless cop from the El Finesse folk. As far as mills are concerned, it's a safe bet that the X6's twin-turbocharged V8 will nestle under-hood. BMW will no doubt bless 7-loving Euro-folk with the 335i and 535's twin-turbo inline six and a particulate of diesels. The 7's interior is all-new. While the cabin's a step up from the last gen, again, it's nowhere near as rad as it forebearer. That said, the new version adds BMW's gimmicky space shuttle (RTFM) gear lever and MMI's the iDrive (if you know what that means, get a life). The new 7-Series sedan will, of course, handle impeccably, cost a bomb and intimidate the bourgeoisie. Mission accomplished?

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24 Comments on “New BMW 7-Series Revealed...”


  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    As polarizing as it was, the last 7 made quite an impact, including on me. This mish-mash of Lexus/Infinity/Genesis/etc.? Yawn.

    I never thought I’d see the day when a new 7 made absolutely no impact on me. I’ve been following them for a long time too. Maybe it’s me.

  • avatar
    rockit

    Well… the Genesis stole styling from BMW and Mercedes in the first place so pretty much this 7 series is just re-copying old ideas in a more modern form.

  • avatar

    Not as eye-abusing as the 7-series or the current 5-series (which is actually uglier than the 7), but utterly devoid of want-it vibes. Pity — I liked the looks of the old E38 version a lot.

    I give BMW some credit for letting Bangle do something different. When the E38, E39, and E46 cars were launched, BMW took a lot of drubbing for being overly conservative with its styling, afraid to stray too far from subtle refinement of the corporate look. Oops…

    My problem with Bangle is that his designs are fussy and obsessive about detailing without any apparent concern for the overall shape or effect. Look at the shut lines on the nose of an E90 3-series and you’ll see what I mean — lots of attention to continuous curves (even where they don’t necessarily make sense), but if you stand back and look at it as a whole, it’s just kind of a mess.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    The dreadful Bangle-butt is gone. And that’s good.
    But I don’t like the lights in the back. too generic.

    The car looks longer, wider and flatter?

  • avatar

    It looks MUCH better than the old model. It went from completely hideous to looking like an average Japanese/non-retro American sedan with BMW front, just is not a bad look.

  • avatar
    tree

    I like it. I would almost say that I love it. Look at this pictures of the side profile for longer than you think you should.

    My problem with Bangle is that his designs are fussy and obsessive about detailing without any apparent concern for the overall shape or effect. Look at the shut lines on the nose of an E90 3-series and you’ll see what I mean — lots of attention to continuous curves (even where they don’t necessarily make sense), but if you stand back and look at it as a whole, it’s just kind of a mess.

    Bangle got better as went along. I think this is the best version of flame surfacing yet, as it’s there where it should be, the sole line running along the bottom of the doors and other places, and not where it shouldn’t be.
    My only issue might be the tail-lights, but i’ll wait to see them in person.

  • avatar
    Rix

    I’m sure it’s a good car (and should be, at that price) but it looks like pretty much everything else on the market, from $30k to $100k. Probably this is due to aerodynamics…but it’s hard to get a premium for a brand when you can’t tell it apart, unless you sell on the basis a superior reliability record (which BMW can’t.)

  • avatar
    James2

    I don’t know what version it was, but the 750i that OO7 drove BY REMOTE CONTROL! was the bomb. It looked like a classic Bimmer — clean and no-nonsense– which apparently to Chris Bangle & Co. must absolutely be a sin.

  • avatar

    I agree it looks like an LS, and I agree that’s an improvement. It is quite a bit prettier than its predecessor. Overall a good change, I think.

  • avatar
    carsinamerica

    @ James2:

    The Bond 7-Series was an E38 (1994-2001) model, the generation before the much-maligned E65 (2002-2008).

    Interesting note: so far, every article I’ve read mentions the V-8 and I-6 turbo engines, the I-6 turbodiesel, and a hybrid version. Now, I know BMW gave up on V-8 diesels (and more’s the pity, the 740d and 745d had amazing specs for both torque and efficiency), but what about the V-12? Is it possible that this new 7er won’t be available with the 12-banger, or have they simply not gotten around to discussing it yet? Then again, I’m still sore that BMW gave up development of the V-16 engine they were considering for a 7- or 9-Series model around a decade ago — now that would have been a thing to see, even though its fuel consumption would surely have been rather frightful.

    One thing is for sure: I can’t wait to see the Alpina B7 version of this.

  • avatar
    IllinoisAutobahn

    The new 7 is like a lot of cars these days–the beltline is so high that the roof looks squashed-down, especially on such a large car (although the windows at least are not as gunslit-like as on the Chrysler 300).

    I have to agree with Argentia–while the detailing may be better, the overall profile is a mess.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    E38 was the last good looking 7-series and the one I’d actually wanted to own.

  • avatar
    discoholic

    I’m sure the Lexus exterior design team was absolutely over the moon when they saw the first shots of the new 7. After years and years of taking it on the chin for counterfeiting well-aged Mercedes designs, they have now created L-Finesse, a design concept apparently so convincing that Chris Bangle decided to give up his usual goulash of discordant surfaces and copy it outright.
    Have a look at the profile shot or the detailing of the rear lights to see what I mean – others have already commented here on the exhausts.
    And am I the only reader here to think that the oversized koala-bear schnoz of the new 7 is absolutely hideous?

  • avatar
    JJ

    And am I the only reader here to think that the oversized koala-bear schnoz of the new 7 is absolutely hideous?

    No…

    I think so too, especially if you see the nose from the side, those big kidneys are way too big, too upright and it looks like the bonnet is too long and is then cut off to meet the fenders…

    The rest of the car looks ok to me, a little bit conservative but I didn’t expect anything else after the criticism they got before and the subsequent quotes about the next generation (this one) being more subtle.

    The rear looks quite a lot like the LS, but I actually think the lights are very much BMW heritage. A modern day version of the lights they had 2 decades ago on the E32(?) 7-series (before the E38) and E34 5 series, as well as the E46 3 series and the E39 5 series Touring.
    And…On one of the pictures the rectangular exhausts are replaced by the standard BMW double exhaust for I6s, which is a good look.

    As for the V12, some say it will be replaced by the biturbo V8…But personally I can’t imagine they would do that, I would imagine the V12 model is highly profitable and I hope people don’t want to pay V12 kind of money for the biturbo-ed V8…

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    Ugh, this is even worse than the current version. When the 745 came out I always thought the overall shape was good-looking, but it just had some funky details (most notably the hideous trunk). This one is just bland overall with a disgusting grille. What a shame

  • avatar

    I’m with the majority here: a forgettable evolutionary improvement.

    I like the proportions better, but overall still too bulbous and heavy-looking.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    The door handles are too close to the windows!!! It bothers me! Otherwise, I think it’s beautiful. People whined about Bangle (I did, too) but now that it’s gone, people are saying that it’s boring. It’s not boring, it’s just more understated and less shouty so now all the flaunty snobs will buy S-Classes!

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Looks like a large 3 Series.

  • avatar
    JJ

    This 7 is now completely designed by Adrian van Hooydonk whereas the previous one was ‘mostly’.

    I think it could be one of those cars that look better ‘live’ than on pictures…Hopefully.

    From what I’ve read in the meantime chances are the V12 is actually on its way.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    I kinda like this new 7. While it doesn’t look as break-through as the S Class or as polarizing of the last gen 7 series, the proportions look good enough. No more Bangle-butt, thank heavens. Wonder how BMW plans to take on the S Class’ V12,

  • avatar
    TR3GUY

    I’m with Rix on this one. All are starting to look the same. If I were spending $50K+ on a car, I would want something unique. My passenger gets in the car and says “wow, what’s this?” or “cool.” Remember the BMW 2800cs? That was a car with lines. Maybe Alfa will have something for us with some sex for under $100K.

    It was like in the 60’s we couldn’t afford an XJ6 so we bought a Rover TC 2000. How many of those did you see? (Yeah I know not many ’cause they were always in the shop)

  • avatar
    kjc117

    Well at least the rear end looks inter-graded with the car than the current version.

    Now, the front kidney grills are too big, they are out of proportion with the rest of the car. The grills are also too vertical

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @argentla
    I give BMW some credit for letting Bangle do something different. When the E38, E39, and E46 cars were launched, BMW took a lot of drubbing for being overly conservative with its styling, afraid to stray too far from subtle refinement of the corporate look. Oops…

    The E39 and E46 were styled by Bangle. I don’t know about the E38.

  • avatar

    I just hope it looks better in 3D. That is true for all Bimmers of the last decade. The shape in complex that it can’t be understood in two dimensions.


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