FRANKFURT -- BMW says its latest 7-series flagship sedan will provide segment-leading fuel-efficiency as well as technological firsts such as remote-control parking and the ability to understand gestures as the automaker seeks to compete better against the Mercedes-Benz S class.
“When our 740e plug-in hybrid comes to market next year, it will set the benchmark in terms of fuel consumption and electric range. Our goal is 49 grams [of CO2 per kilometer] and circa 40km [of full-electric driving],” BMW development chief Klaus Froehlich said. By comparison, the S-class plug-in hybrid offers CO2 as low as 65g/km and an electric range of 33km.
BMW says the new 7 series will be the first production car that can be parked without a person at the wheel. Another first for a production car is the 7 series’ gesture recognition system, which allows hand movements to be used to do such things as decline a call or make the radio volume higher.
Globally, BMW has sold about 370,000 units of the current 7 series during the car’s life cycle (2008-2015). The automaker aims to top that total with the new sixth-generation 7 series, which debuts in Europe and the U.S. on Oct. 24.
Volumes for the current sedan peaked in 2011 at about 67,200 cars, which is low compared with the 100,000 units of the S class that Mercedes sold last year.