At a glance, the big limo's upgrades include updated styling, revised and new petrol and diesel engines, a new eight-speed automatic transmission, and new comfort, convenience and driving assistance features.
Due in Australia later this year, the updated 7 Series range is headlined by BMW's revised 4.4 V8 petrol engine, boosting power to a healthy 331kW and 650Nm of torque - up from 300kW and 600Nm.
The six-cylinder 740i also gets a major change under the bonnet, swapping its 240kW/450Nm N54 twin-turbo engine for the newer N55 single-turbo six.
Power figures for the 740i remain unchanged, but BMW promises a more fuel-efficient operation (exact consumption and CO2 figures are still be released).
Internationally, the updated 7 Series also picks up BMW's new tri-turbo 280kW/740Nm 3.0 litre six-cylinder diesel, first seen in the performance-focused M550d xDrive sedan. In the 7, the engine offers a 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds.
Don't expect that big diesel in Australia, however. For now, the tri-turbo engine is available only where the xDrive all-wheel-drive system is equipped.
Speaking with TMR today, BMW Australia's Scott Croaker confirmed that, as with the other xDrive-equipped sedans, the 7 Series xDrive models are not available for right-hand-drive markets.
BMW has also chucked its older six-speed automatic transmission in favour of the new eight-speed auto, promising fuel consumption savings of up to 25 percent. (Again figures are still to be revealed.)
The ActiveHybrid 7, due in Australia sometime in 2013, has also had its 4.4 litre V8 engine replaced by the same 3.0 litre turbo-six driving the 740i.
Matched with an electric motor and an eight-speed auto, the new second-generation hybrid model offers 260kW and 500Nm of torque.
Unlike its eight-cylinder predecessor, the new second-generation hybrid also allows electric-only driving; although you'll only get four kilometres of continuous use, at a top speed of 60km/h. Ideal for start/stop traffic and short trips.
For the ActiveHybrid, BMW promises fuel consumption figures of 6.8 l/100km and CO2 emissions at 158g/km. The 0-100km/h sprint is listed at a still quite sharp 5.7 seconds.
Technology and Features
Among the new technologies featuring in the 2013 7 Series is a new Driving Dynamics Control system, allowing the personalisation of a number of driving systems.
These include throttle and engine response, power steering characteristics, stability control thresholds, transmission and damper settings and more.
The system also offers five presets, controlling not only driving factors but also, in the case of the Eco Pro option, a number of interior features.
With Eco Pro mode selected, the system will optimise heating and air-conditioning, heated seats and exterior mirror heating with a focus on efficiency and fuel savings.
BMW reckons that, when paired with efficient driving - the system also offers tips for this - fuel savings of around 20 percent can be achieved.
The Eco Pro setting also offers a coasting feature, decoupling the engine and transmission when coasting at speeds between 100 and 160km/h. In the ActiveHybrid 7, that mode also disconnects petrol supply.
A new electronically-controlled Dynamic Damper System is also featured across the range, delivering individual adjustment of each shock absorber, depending on the road conditions and driving style.
The navigation system has also been upgraded, offering sharper graphics and 3D elements, along with an enhanced voice recognition system with email and SMS dictation.
The updated 7 Series will hit Australia in the fourth quarter of 2012, while the new ActiveHybrid 7 will appear locally sometime in 2013.
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