The BMW 730d is powered by the new version of the renowned 3.0-litre diesel engine producing a maximum 218 bhp (25 bhp more than the outgoing power plant) and an unprecedented 500 Nm of torque. This takes it from 0-62 mph in just 8.0 seconds and on to a top speed of 146 mph. As well as impressive performance, the 730d favours drivers who consider economy alongside speed. Carbon dioxide emissions of just 227 g/km accompany a combined fuel consumption figure of 33.2 mpg. Condition-based service intervals average nearly 20,000 miles, almost 50 per cent longer than on previous models. To add to the ownership benefits, customers can, of course, choose Concours, BMW’s five year, 75,000 miles service and maintenance package for all 7 Series models, priced at £500.

The 730d is expected to be BMW’s best ever 7 Series seller and media reports back up the expectation. Car magazine said: "The 730d is, in its class, the best on the block. Quiet, powerful and still capable of indecent speed and long-range cruising." Autocar magazine said: "Motorway transport is rarely so accomplished."

The BMW 730i, available in standard and long wheelbase variants, benefits from the same 231 bhp as the 3 and 5 Series models and the state-of-the-art six-speed automatic gearbox available on all 7 Series models. This offers a greater spread of gear ratios, giving drivers more flexibility, improving acceleration and fuel consumption while reducing noise. The transmission uses shift-by-wire technology to ensure the smoothest automatic changes while steering wheel mounted Steptronic buttons mean that even drivers who prefer more involvement in gear changes can do so without taking their hands off the wheel.

Historically, six-cylinder petrol engines have sold well in the luxury segment, with 66 per cent of all new 7 Series sold worldwide in 2001 supplied with the smaller engine. Interestingly, 2002 saw a record number of V8 engined cars sold compared to previous V8 models and BMW, through the 7 series range, can also boast to be the world’s biggest manufacturer of 12 cylinder engines.

The completed 7 Series range now comprises:

Model Engine Launched OTR Price
730i 2,979cc 6-cyl March 2003 £46,850
730i SE 2,979cc 6-cyl March 2003 £48,850
730Li 2,979cc 6-cyl March 2003 £49,450
730Li SE 2,979cc 6-cyl March 2003 £51,450
730d 2,993cc 6-cyl March 2003 £44,555
730d SE 2,993cc 6-cyl March 2003 £46,555
735i 3,600cc V8 March 2002 £52,750
735Li 3,600cc V8 April 2002 £55,800
745i 4,398cc V8 March 2002 £56,950
745Li 4,398cc V8 April 2002 £60,000
760i 5,972cc V12 January 2003 £76,350
760Li 5,972cc V12 January 2003 £78,450
continues... | Part Three

Published : 17/03/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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