BMW 7 Series | Part Three (2008)

BMW 7 Series Rear

BMW 7 Series Rear View (2008)

EfficientDynamics

The launch of the new 7 Series means the entire BMW range now comes equipped with EfficientDynamics technologies as standard. With its roof, doors, bonnet and side panels all made from aluminium to dovetail with the principle of lightweight engineering, the BMW 7 Series also has other innovative class-leading technology which improves engine performance, while cutting fuel consumption and emissions.

Brake Energy Regeneration uses the engine’s power on overrun, such as braking, to charge the battery for the car’s electrical circuit. When the driver is accelerating the alternator disengages so all of the engine’s power is channelled towards the car’s performance. Other ancillaries, such as the air-conditioning compressor, are also able to disengage to improve the all round performance of the car. This intelligent use of drivetrain power is why EfficientDynamics technology has helped the 7 Series become a class-leader in terms of performance, fuel consumption and emissions.

World firsts

The BMW 7 Series’ drivetrain superiority is reinforced with a plethora of automotive firsts. All 7 Series can now be specified with the world’s first car available with a Side View camera system. In addition to Park Distance Control that aids slow speed manoeuvring, the front side view camera system provides another tier of driver awareness. With the touch of a button two forward facing cameras mounted in the front bumper can show an overview of traffic conditions on the iDrive display. This allows the driver to negotiate a partially obscured junction, leave a car park or drive through a narrow gate with absolute confidence.

The new BMW 7 Series can be specified with the world’s most advanced Night Vision system in a production car. BMW was the first manufacturer to fit Night Vision to a premium car and it has now upgraded this package to include a pedestrian recognition system in another world first. A control unit analyses video data of human behaviour as part of the Night Vision camera’s reach and can subsequently alert the driver if it detects a human is moving into the path of the vehicle.

Building on the impressive list of innovations, the 7 Series is the first BMW to feature Lane Change Warning combined with Lane Departure Warning. The latter is a system that first appeared on BMW 5 and 6 Series models and uses a camera to monitor road markings. Should the driver start to stray out of lane, a gentle vibration of the steering wheel provides an alert. However, courtesy of two radars located at either side of the rear bumper, Lane Change Warning adds another level of driver safety. The sensors constantly scan the blind spot either side of the vehicle, up to a distance of 60 metres, and alert the driver to the presence of another vehicle with a triangular symbol in the door mirror housing.

Cars that are specified with Head-up Display and Lane Departure Warning have the added driver benefit of a speed limit warning system. The camera used as part of the Lane Departure Warning system can now also scan oncoming road signs to alert the driver of any impending speed restriction. The current speed limit is then displayed in the Head-up Display. This is the first time a production car has been offered with a speed warning system that can read road signs.

Completing the host of innovations is speed-related Integral Active Steering. A car specified with this optional equipment allows the rear wheels to turn by up to 3º. At slow speeds it is highly manoeuvrable, while at a faster pace it offers enhanced composure and driving dynamics.

Tailormade driving dynamics
The latest generation BMW 7 Series is the first to have Drive Dynamic Control featuring Variable Damping Control as standard. Drive Dynamic Control is the umbrella function that lets a driver customise the characteristics of his or her car. As part of this Variable Damping Control can bet set in comfort, normal, sport, sport + modes. For the first time though these settings are infinitely variable depending on driving style and road surface condition. The selected mode now alters the throttle response, gear change speed and steering feel.

To aid driving dynamics and comfort the 7 Series is the first BMW Saloon to feature race car-like double-wishbone front suspension. This arrangement allows engineers to fine-tune the suspension for the best kinematic configuration. The rear suspension consists of a five-link arrangement made of aluminium which can be further optimised with the inclusion of Adaptive Air Suspension.

The BMW 7 Series comes as standard with Dynamic Stability Control + featuring additional functions such as Hill-Start Assistant, Brake Drying, Brake Pre-tensioning, Soft-stop and Brake Fade Compensation. Dynamic Traction Control can be activated via a button to enable spirited driving or greater traction of slippery surfaces such as snow and ice.

New BMW 7 Series | Part Four
Published 5 July 2008 Melanie Carter

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