BMW has refreshed its 7 series with upgraded gasoline engines and a new common-rail diesel. The diesel will also be available in the 5 series.
The new gasoline engines are already available. The new diesels will be available in mid-October. The makeover includes a more rounded grille, redesigned headlights, restyled alloy wheels and new paint colors. Illumination has been added to door handles, triggered when the doors are unlocked by remote control. The interior has deeper seats, new upholstery and wood trim.
The 5 and 7 series now feature an updated brake management system, tire pressure monitoring and active seat technology. Devices within the seat move slightly while the car is on the road, which reduces driver tiredness, according to BMW.
The new inline-six, V-8 and V-12 gasoline engines promise better fuel economy, cleaner emissions, extra torque and longer service intervals. BMW says the new engines meet, and in some cases outperform, the European Union's EU3, the USA's LEV and Germany's D4 emission standards.
The company has expanded its diesel line with a new six-cylinder, 3.0-liter, 184hp, common-rail unit featuring an intercooler and a variable geometry turbocharger for the 530d and 730d models. The 530d has fuel consumption of 39.2 mpg and a top speed of 140 mph. It is available with newly developed five-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The 730d, available only as an automatic, is rated at 32.5 mpg with a top speed of 136 mph.
BMW's new diesel follows the launch six months ago of a four-cylinder diesel for the 320d. By the summer of 1999 BMW expects to complete its diesel range with an eight cylinder engine.