Building on BMW's proven line of range-topping sedans, the refreshed 2013 BMW 7-Series brings the German brand's best and brightest technology and features to a fight that, at times, edges on the rarified air of the super-luxury realm.
You might not be able to spot the 2013 model's refreshes from a block away, but the 2013 7-Series is nonetheless rather updated. The primary tweaks are inside, with a new seat design and other interior improvements, as well as a new set of V-8 engines, a revised hybrid in the ActiveHybrid7, and eight-speed automatic transmissions across the range.
Perhaps most noticeable in terms of the 7-Series experience is the improved iDrive interface. Far from the clunky and confusing system of old, the latest iDrive is easier to interact with and more feature-packed than ever before, enabling many of the latest connectivity and cloud-based services.
All 7-Series models also get an air suspension system for 2013, including dynamic damping, allowing the driver to select the ride quality, from firm and sporty to lush and relaxed.
Three main engine trims and a hybrid form the 2013 7-Series range: a twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine, a pair of twin-turbo V-8s, and a twin-turbo V-12. The six-cylinder is used in the 740i and long-wheelbase 740Li, rated at 315 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. The 750i and 750Li score a 445-horsepower 4.4-liter V-8 with twin turbochargers, and the Alpina B7, built by BMW's in-house tuner brand, gets 540-horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque from the same displacement of forced-induction V-8. The range-topping 760Li (not available in short-wheelbase form) sports a 537-horsepower V-12. These two latter models are both good for 0-60 mph sprints in the mid-four-second range, despite the car's mid-to-high-4,000-lb curb weight.
The ActiveHybrid7 is revised for 2013 to use an in-line six-cylinder engine rather than the V-8 it used previously. Lithium-ion batteries power electric motors to boost gas mileage. It arrives in mid-2013, with specifics to come with its official launch, though we've found similar systems in other BMW hybrids to lack the smoothness and refinement you might expect.
As you'd expect with a BMW flagship, the 2013 7-Series offers an armada of the latest high-tech gear, with a focus on safety: the Driver Assistance Package includes blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, and automatic high-beams. Enhanced Active Cruise Control is new for 2013, and is able to bring the car to a full stop if the driver doesn't react to stopped traffic quickly enough thanks to its Stop & Go feature. Standard Attention Assist monitors the driver's alertness levels and warns if it detects undue fatigue.
In short, the 2013 BMW 7-Series justifies its continued place not only at the top of BMW's range, but among the best full-size luxury sedans in the world. For the full details, read the review of the 2013 BMW 7-Series at The Car Connection