What Changed for 2008:
- High performance Alpina B7 model
- BMW Individual package offers customization
Now in its fourth generation, the rear-wheel-drive 7 Series is the largest sedan sold by BMW, and that series' luxury model line is BMW's flagship vehicle: the 12-cylinder 760Li. Introduced in 2002, the current-generation 7 Series has received minor upgrades each year, including a major facelift in 2006. For 2008, the standard 7 Series is offered with a choice of two engines, in two different wheelbases. The Alpina B7, a limited-production performance-oriented sedan based on the BMW 7 Series, offers a mix of power, luxury and exclusivity.Model Lineup
The BMW 7 Series models available for the 2008 model year include the 750i, 750Li, 760Li and Alpina B7. The 7 Series sedan is available on two different chassis, each with a different wheelbase. The "regular" wheelbase, found on the 750i and Alpina B7, is 117.7 inches long. The "long" wheelbase, found on the 750Li and 760Li, is 123.2 inches, resulting in greater vehicle length and more rear leg room. As premier models of the BMW lineup, all 7 Series sedans are equipped with an extensive list of standard features including full power accessories, leather upholstery, 20-way power Comfort Seats and automatic climate control. A DVD-based GPS navigation system with iDrive display is standard on all models. The flagship 12-cylinder 760Li features an even more comprehensive list of standard features.
Major option packages for the 7 Series models include the Sport package, Adaptive Ride package, Convenience package, Luxury Seating package, Premium Sound package, and Rear Entertainment package. Stand-alone options include Night Vision, Sirius satellite radio, active cruise control, and Comfort Access. The BMW Individual option offers consumers the ability to customize their 7 Series with special exterior paints, high-end upholsteries, unique interior wood trim, custom wheels, and even a security glass option.
The Alpina B7 is a limited-production 7 Series model featuring an all-inclusive performance upgrade package when compared to the standard models (most 7 Series option packages are not available on the Alpina B7). Alpina, a German firm with a long background of partnering with BMW to create ultra-high performance cars retaining a factory warranty, upgrades the engine, suspension, interior and exterior of the 7 Series to create the Alpina B7, arguably the highest performance 7 Series ever sold by BMW. Production of the Alpina B7 will cease in July, 2008.Powertrain
The 2008 BMW 7 Series is offered with three different powerplants. The 750i and 750Li are equipped with a 4.8-liter 8-cylinder powerplant rated at 360 hp and 360 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA fuel economy ratings are 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway. The 760Li features BMW's 6.0-liter 12-cylinder powerplant. With direct fuel injection, it is rated at 438 hp and 444 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA fuel economy ratings are 13 mpg city/20 mpg highway. The 750i, 750Li, and 760Li feature BMW's 6-speed Steptronic adaptive automatic transmission. The Alpina B7 utilizes a supercharged, 4.4-liter 8-cylinder engine rated at 500 hp and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated to a Switch-Tronic 6-speed automatic transmission, the B7 is pushed to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of 186 mph, according to tests conducted by BMW. EPA fuel economy ratings for the Alpina B7 are 14 mpg city/21 mpg highway.
All 2008 BMW 7 Series models are equipped with fully independent suspension with major components cast in aluminum, Active Roll Stabilization (ARS), and disc brakes on all four corners. Standard alloy wheels are 18 inches in diameter. Nineteen- and 20-inch aluminum wheels are optional on all models except for the Alpina B7, which rides on standard light-alloy, multi-spoke 21-inch wheels.Safety
In addition to 3-point safety belts with automatic pre-tensioners at all outboard seating positions, the 2008 BMW 7 Series models are equipped with a driver and front passenger front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with advanced technology dual-threshold and dual-stage deployment. A front- and rear-compartment Head Protection System (AHPS II) helps to protect outboard passengers from injury. Active Knee Protection is standard on all models, while rear-seat side-impact air bags are optional. For additional protection, a Battery Safety Terminal is designed to cut off electrical power in a severe collision. Standard active safety features in every BMW 7 Series include anti-lock brakes (ABS), dynamic stability control (DSC) with Brake Fade Compensation, Start-off Assistant, Brake Drying, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), and Dynamic Brake Control. The 2008 BMW 7 Series has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA
) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS
Optional on the 2008 BMW 7 Series is BMW's Night Vision system. Utilizing a thermal imaging camera mounted below the front bumper, the system is able to detect objects often too difficult to see with the human eye in low light or low visibility conditions, BMW claims. The detected objects are displayed on the Control Display monitor with an intensity that is directly related to their "heat signature" (the amount of heat emitted by an object). This means human beings and animals, both generating strong heat signatures, become very visible when contrasted against their colder surroundings. The system has an effective range of nearly 1,000 feet, BMW says.
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