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2020 BMW 7 Series: First Look

  • BMW’s flagship sedan receives some updates.
  • An Intelligent Personal Assistant comes on board.
  • On sale this spring.

A mid-generation revamp applied to the to the 2020 BMW 7 Series large luxury sedan was recently shown at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. Revisions to the front end include a grille that’s taller than the 2019 model by about two inches. In all, it’s around 40 percent larger, while the headlights have slimmed down (with BMW Laserlight as a new option). At the back are thinner taillights. However, it isn’t just the looks that have seen some changes.

What Else Is Different?

Like our smartphones and computers often have updates to their operating systems, BMW’s iDrive software for the infotainment system, including the optional Touch Control tablet at the rear 
(that’s held in place by cool little retractable clips), is now running on Version 7.0 in the new 7 Series.

A Back-Up Assistant joins the options list. BMW describes this as: "automated reversing in confined spaces or situations where the driver does not have a clear view." This feature remembers steering inputs for the last 50 yards or so and, at the push of a button, retraces those steps. The driver just controls the accelerator and brakes. This is quite a novel innovation and is also available in the new-for-2019 BMW 3 Series.

The wireless charging pad has been relocated, the multi-function steering wheel has some of its buttons rearranged, and the cabin receives some extra sound insulation. Not that it was in the least bit noisy before.

Apple iPhones have Siri and Amazon has Alexa. Now BMW has an Intelligent Personal Assistant. For example, say, "Hey BMW, I’m cold." This digital assistant will crank up the heater. And there’s also the option to give it a customizable name. If any owners wanted to call it Bob or Balthazar, there’s nothing to stop them.

Any Changes Under the Hood?

The 2020 BMW 7 Series does indeed have some revisions in this department. What used to be the 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid is now the 2020 745e xDrive (xDrive denotes all-wheel drive, by the way).

The outgoing model has a 4-cylinder engine plus an electric motor running off a lithium-ion battery and has an electric-only range of 14 miles. The new 745e has an inline 6-cylinder engine, while its electric-only range is expanded by a few more miles. There are no figures yet from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but the power difference is 389 horsepower for the 745e, compared with 322 hp in the 740e.

The twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 engine powering the M760i xDrive receives a gasoline particulate filter, which is again quite novel. Diesel particulate filters are commonplace, but now the idea has spread.

BMW also says the 2020 750i xDrive will receive a new V8 engine making 523 hp, a boost of 80 hp over the 2019 counterpart. The company quotes a 0-to-60 mph time of just 3.9 seconds.

The 8-speed automatic transmission in all 2020 7 Series cars has also been updated.

How Much and When Is It Available?

The 2020 BMW 7 Series goes on sale April 2019. Pricing will be announced near that time, but the 2019 range starts at $84,645 for the rear-wheel-drive 740i and there shouldn’t be any drastic changes.

Every BMW 7 Series sold in the U.S. is a long-wheelbase version, even though there’s no "L" in any of the model names. Find a BMW 7 Series for sale

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