Grill Yourself: The 2020 BMW 7 Series

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Following leaked images that made the rounds online, BMW has officially taken the wraps off the 2020 7 Series. The latest update to the German manufacturer’s luxury line plays host to an almost comically oversized kidney grille, slimmer headlamps, and some zestier powertrain options.

However, before we get into technical and mechanical upgrades, we need to address the elephant in the room. The 7 Series’ new styling is not inelegant, but that grille occupies an alarming amount of space. BMW updated the look to more closely resemble its new X7 SUV and decided that meant installing a similarly massive chromed beak.

Fortunately, the rest of the car’s exterior sees more tasteful updates. A set of thinner headlights flank the hulking metal maw and a redesigned front bumper gives the car a more luxurious but less sporty image. Out back, a set of integrated tailpipes adorn the bumper, above which lie updated taillights that, again, are reminiscent of the X7, but work well enough with the sedan.

The interior is largely the same as before and is still very easy on the eyes — and probably on the ass, thanks to standard Dakota leather seats. You can upgrade to Nappa or Merino leather if you want to spend the coin. If you’re the sort of person who like being chauffeured in your 7 Series, you may also want to consider the executive rear seat package. This option removes the bench and replaces it with a pair of ultra-plush lounge seats, complete with their own entertainment systems.

As for the truly important changes, the buffet of tech offered in last year’s model has only grown larger. The 2020 7 Series’ standard equipment includes air suspension, wireless device charging, soft-close doors, a panoramic glass roof, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, ambient lighting, and gesture controls. There’s also thicker glass on higher trimmed models to keep the cabin even quieter than it already was.

Still, it’s probably the engine (and price) that dictates which trims most shoppers settle on. The 740i houses a 3.0-liter inline-six making 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. BMW claims it’s good for a 0-to-60 blast of 5.3 seconds. The 750i adds more power and a couple of cylinders with its upgraded V8, which boasts 523 hp and 553 lb-ft. Thanks to mandatory xDrive, the automaker says 60 mph can be had in just 3.9 seconds.

The V12 M760i is also xDrive only, which should come in handy when owners deploy its 600 horsepower and 627 foot-pounds to the pavement. However, if that’s not your bag, BMW has a plug-in hybrid model, the 745e, which mates the base inline-six to an electric motor. Combined, the duo makes 389 hp and 442 lb-ft. The upsized 12.0-kWh, lithium-ion battery should also improve the vehicle’s maximum range, but BMW isn’t ready to say by how much.

An eight-speed Sport Steptronic system will be the sole transmission on all trims. Standard safety equipment includes blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning with automatic braking, parking sensors and a 360-degree camera. Electronically controlled dampers and two-axle air suspension with automatic self-leveling are also standard, as is he ability to up the ride height by 0.8 inches with the touch of the button (in case you find yourself confronting a rather nasty speed bump or steep driveway).

The only thing we were surprised to see as an optional extra was BMW’s Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go — not because it’s commonplace within the industry, but because this is an upper echelon luxury sedan. But you can still get it if you have the cash, as well as goodies like BMW’s trick Back-Up Assistant, rear collision prevention, cross traffic alerts, lane keeping with assist, and so on. Basically, if the technology exists, you can probably tack it on.

Sales for the new 2020 BMW 7 Series should begin in April 2019, with pricing to be announced in a month or two.

[Images: BMW]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Roberto Esponja Roberto Esponja on Jan 17, 2019

    I usually love waterfall grilles, but this one is obnoxious. They should have increased the number of slats, using thinner ones, and spaced them closer together.

  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Jan 17, 2019

    I dunno what bugs me more, the grille or the absolutely stupid face. D 8] D

  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉
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