The new BMW 7 Series – a controversial design for a flagship model | BMW
When BMW unveiled their top model in 1977, they introduced the name “7 Series” for the first time, it was the E23 model, and it became BMW’s full-size sedan for the 70s, now i understand that the European idea of a ‘full size sedan’ wasn’t quite the same in a full size sedan in the US they were land yachts the BMW 7 Series E23 looked compact next to these behemoths, but this new model introduced quite a few new things for BMW, such as a “verification control panel” and ABS, anti-lock braking… the 7 Series has become a pioneer for the Bavarian brand.
The E23 looked like a larger version of the family-sized 5-Series at the time, with relatively round-cornered body styling, the E32 which replaced that first edition in 1986 looked more stately, with an impression to be much bigger than it 5 Series counterpart, built between 1986 and 1994, it was a very nice car indeed, a big car by European standards, but still elegant, and it offered an amazing driving experience , notably with the big V12 engine for the 750i model, the first car in BMW’s history with a speed limit set at 250 km/h, note that a BMW 7 Series was only available as a four-sedan doors, either with a standard wheelbase or with a longer wheelbase, aptly called the “L”.
In 1994 the next generation arrived, the E38, made famous in the 1997 film ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ when none other than James Bond got behind the wheel of a metallic silver 750iL with plenty of ‘Q’ gimmicks, and to be honest this series was among the best looking ever, thanks to a clever combination of black painted side sills this already big car looked even longer and lower than it actually was, and like the Diesel-powered cars are hugely popular in Europe, the E38 became the first BMW 7 Series to be available with a diesel engine, and you can opt for an integrated TV on this model.
In 2001, the first blow to the hitherto beautiful design of BMW cars, the E65 model, was later replaced by E66, E67 and E68, but all looked more or less the same with minor design changes from facelift to mid-life and interior and engine upgrades, but the styling was just… different, especially the odd rear cargo cover, which seemed like an afterthought to the round rear fenders, this model got the first direct injection V12 on a production car.
Things changed for the better when BMW introduced the fifth generation of its flagship sedan, the F01 in 2009, which would remain in production for six years until the G11 took over in 2015, and at first this one- it was large, though beautiful. Bimmer too, but that changed in 2019 with the facelift reveal…with a massive grille, something it looks like the BMW styling team intended for all new cars they design, and customers are a bit divided on this new look for the famous BMW “grille”… to say the least.
And the new BMW is bringing its big limo to the next generation, the G70, and while the interior is still a pioneer in this segment, we’ll get to that later, the exterior is again very controversial, the rear is “special”, but it’s the rather odd front styling that raised quite a few eyebrows, some love it, some hate it, there doesn’t seem to be any common ground with this new approach, and while I I won’t bore you with the official statements found in the 29-page press release, I’ll run through a few details to “paint a picture” of what BMW has in store for us when it comes to luxury four-door flagship models.
BMW’s new flagship is initially introduced as the i7 xDrive60, an all-electric sedan, while a 750e xDrive plug-in hybrid and M760e xDrive will join the lineup in 2023, the absolute flagship, the i7 M70 xDrive will come on long at the end of 2023, if you opt for the ‘L’ or the long wheelbase version of the G70, you can choose between the Excellence or M Sport finish, this model will also be built at the BMW Group Dingolfing factory and first deliveries of customer cars is expected by December 2022.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, the front end of this new 7 Series G70, with the split headlight we saw on the new X7, but also the illuminated BMW grille, and while some might not like both split headlight parts this will be a distinctive feature for BMW’s luxury models, a way to distinguish them from the “lesser” models in the range, and frankly I have to admit it reminds me of the front of the Rolls Royce Phantom in its seventh generation (from 2003 to 2012), remember the car also featured rectangular lights above a pair of round headlights next to its massive grille… a bit more modern interpretation we see on this new generation BMW 7 Series.
Being environmentally conscious, BMW said that there will be no V12 engined version in this new generation G70, but later there will be M60 and M70 models, which will bring amazing M Sport touches. both outside and inside, which makes this big car (it’s 130mm longer compared to the previous generation) look a bit sporty, but as usual, it’s all about luxurious interior inside a BMW flagship, and here the new G70 shines, with massive screens front and rear, reclining seats for rear passengers, and automatic doors with bespoke control modules in the back… it almost looks like a shelf built into the door panel.
Now I could go on and on about the innovations BMW is putting into this new flagship, how charging works, or how by 2024 cast aluminum wheels will be made using only green electricity , but I’ll just let you enjoy a lot of pictures of this new car instead, so you can decide if you want to place your order for this new G70 edition: