A Legacy of Leadership
Since we began designing cars in 1929, BMW has been known as a pioneer of
automotive engineering. We're one of the few companies in the world that can make a
luxury vehicle perform like a sports car. Indeed, the leading BMW sedans of the past fifty
years are the very definition of high performance, design and technology. With the
introduction of the new 2002 7 Series, BMW continues this unbroken chain and boldly
affirms its legacy of leadership.
The lineage of modern BMWs begins with the 501, introduced at the 1951 Frankfurt Auto
Show. Curvaceous yet stately, it served as BMW's "calling card" for large, luxury sedans.
Originally powered by a six-cylinder engine, it included a fashionable wraparound rear
window, high-quality cloth interior, chrome trim to set off the flowing curves of the body,
and even a Becker radio as standard. These cars were affectionately nicknamed the
"Baroque Angels," after the voluptuous, rather fleshy ladies carved into the cornices of so
many Bavarian churches.
In 1954, the "ultimate angel" appeared - the classic 502. Powered by the first BMW V-8
of its generation, the 502 set a precedent for high performance virtually unheard of in
its time. This all-aluminum V-8 featured overhead valves and - for the day - an impressive
output of 100 horsepower. That enabled it to cruise Germany's new Autobahn high-
speed road system at nearly 100 mph. Over the years of its production, the 502 evolved
further, taking new model names. Eventually, the series offered as much as 160
horsepower and, starting in 1959, front disc brakes.
In 1968, BMW introduced the new and exciting Sechszylinder series, a pair of six-cylinder
sedans and a classically handsome sport-luxury coupe. These 2500 and 2800 models -
named for their engine size - set new standards for smooth, powerful and sonorous
"The all-new six-cylinder engine is a jewel," reported Road & Track magazine in its May
'69 road test of the smaller-engine 2500 model. "In through-the-gears acceleration, the
2500 is as impressive to the clocks as it is to the ear, producing quarter-mile times that
any self-respecting Detroit engineer would say can't be done with 2.5 liters..."
Beginning with the first 733i model, these smartly contemporary sedans became a
launching pad for groundbreaking BMW technologies: Digital Motor Electronics, driver
and passenger airbags, the BMW V-12, Dynamic Stability Control, BMW on-board
navigation system, Coded Driveaway Protection, VANOS "steplessly" variable valve timing,
the world's first side-impact Head Protection System… and much more. Though many of
these innovations seemed radical at first, they quickly became as indispensable as the
Now, the new 2002 7 Series takes this tradition even further. Over 60 new engineering
breakthroughs will make their debut in the new 7. To name just a few:
• Active Roll Stabilization - a high-tech suspension innovation that reduces body roll
in cornering, thereby improving handling, agility and steering accuracy.
• iDrive - an ergonomic, driver-oriented cockpit design that makes operating your
vehicle easier, less distracting and more exciting.
• Stunning Design - a larger, more powerful presence, both inside and out, without
sacrificing the famous BMW performance.
The new 2002 7 more than honors the BMW tradition of high-performance, state-of-the-
art technology, and unabashed luxury - it elevates it. Over the next few months, we will
reveal more details about these and other innovations that make the new 7 Series a
watershed of automotive engineering.
Still The Driver's Car
Not unexpectedly, the new 7's 4.4-liter V-8 is a marvel of automotive engineering.
Though its size and displacement match the previous 7 Series V-8, it delivers 15% more
power - 325 to be exact. This means that the new 7's 0-60 time rivals that of many
sports cars - in the low six seconds*. Yet it delivers greater fuel efficiency and even
lower emissions, primarily due to BMW's new Valvetronic technology and a fully variable
Valvetronic: a new engine "breathing" concept
Valvetronic is one of the greatest advances in gasoline engines in decades.
Seamlessly integrated with BMW's Double - VANOS "steplessly" variable valve timing,
Valvetronic makes the BMW V-8 more powerful, more responsive, smoother, more fuel
efficient, and excellent at cold starting.
In the new 7, engine "breathing" is controlled entirely by the valves - not by throttles.
Valvetronic determines how far each of the engine's 16 intake valves is lifted (opened),
how much air/fuel mixture the engine breathes, and how much power it produces. By
eliminating throttles, Valvetronic increases engine efficiency. That's because throttles
cause "pumping losses," i.e., they create a restriction that partially blocks incoming air. At
low speeds, when the throttle is partially closed, pumping losses seriously tax the
engine's fuel efficiency. (Note: official EPA ratings not yet available.)
Valvetronic increases power with its precise timing of valve lift. High valve lift helps to
develop high-power output. But a traditional engine cannot increase valve lift without
decreasing efficiency and responsiveness at low speeds. With Valvetronic, valve lift is
maximized for the driver's immediate power needs - extra-high at the top, and
progressively lower at lesser speeds.
Fully variable intake manifold
The new 7 also debuts BMW's first fully variable intake manifold. This technology delivers
air to the engine in precisely controlled measures, as needed, for maximum fuel
efficiency and engine response.
Traditionally, a two-stage intake manifold would send air along one of two paths to the
engine - a short one for low loads (improving torque and response) and a longer one for
high loads (improving top-end power). The fully variable intake manifold uses a single
path throughout the engine cycle, but varies its length steplessly. The fuel injection
system receives just the right amount of air under virtually every condition.
Six-speed automatic transmission
The new 7 Series also features the world's first production six-speed automatic
transmission. Advanced electronic and hydraulic internal controls make shifting so
smooth that the driver and passengers barely notice shifts, yet keen ears still enjoy the
BMW engine music.
Along with this new transmission comes a new way to operate it. The traditional,
mechanical gearshift lever is gone. Instead, an electric selector is positioned near the
steering wheel. The driver presses upward, downward or inward to engage Reverse, Drive
or Park, respectively. Select Low range via a button on the steering wheel, and the driver
can downshift gears with fingertip buttons near the wheel's rim.
This new way of controlling the transmission is just one part of the "iDrive" concept in
the 2002 7 Series. In our next installment, we'll tell you how iDrive creates a more driver-
*BMW AG test results. Actual acceleration results may vary, depending on specification of vehicle; road
and environmental conditions: testing procedures and driving style. These results should be used for
comparison only and verification should not be attempted on public roads. BMW urges you to obey all
posted speed laws and always wear safety belts.
The BMW iDrive Concept
As technology advances, BMW integrates purposeful technology- rich features into its
vehicles - navigation, telephone, climate control, audio, etc. The new iDrive concept is
designed to give you quick, intuitive access to all the technology you need and want to
maximize your driving experience - from the navigation system to climate control to
hands-free telephone operation. iDrive optimizes the vehicle's ergonomics, giving you
greater freedom and choice.
In the new 7 with iDrive, controls are carefully divided into two zones. Controls that
pertain directly to the operation of the vehicle are located on or around the steering
wheel - in the Driving Zone. Those related to the occupants' comfort can be accessed on
an in-dash control display that sits at eye-level with the road - in the Comfort Zone. The
driver can control nearly all vehicle systems on the central display monitor without
moving a hand any further than the iDrive Controller located on the center console.
And because there are some basic controls that you just "instinctively" want to control
by button or knob, the basic climate and audio controls are still in their customary
positions on the dash.
The Driving Zone
iDrive puts all the driving function controls on or around the steering wheel. This
collection of systems creates The Driving Zone, composed of:
• Electric Transmission Selector - The gearshift has returned to the steering
column, but now the transmission is controlled electrically rather than
mechanically. Without ever taking your hands off the wheel, you can select the
appropriate gear. Need more torque? Use the two selector buttons on the
multifunction steering wheel to downshift.
• Programmable Cruise Control - In addition to normal cruise control operation, you
can preset six desired speeds. The driver can set them to various speed limits or
driving preferences to be retrieved at any time.
• Peripheral Systems - Controls such as turn signals, windshield wipers and cruise
control are in their familiar places. As with the transmission selector, these
functions are controlled electrically.
• Electromechanical Parking Brake - Instead of the driver physically engaging the
mechanical linkage, the parking brake is now electronically controlled. The driver
needs only push a button to engage it.
• New, Multi-Function Remote Control - Instead of putting a key in an ignition, you
simply place the remote itself into a slot. Familiar and powerful, the remote key
allows you to: lock and unlock the vehicle, arm and disarm the alarm system, open
the trunk and even turn on the interior lights remotely to help you find the car at
• Start/Stop Button - Similar to that found on the BMW Z8 sports car. Once the
remote is placed in its slot, you simply hit this button to turn the engine on or off.
The Comfort Zone
The iDrive Controller was first seen on the Z9 cabriolet concept car. It builds off of
BMW's proven navigation system to intuitively control vehicle systems. Analogous to a
computer mouse, the controller operates a color central display atop the dashboard.
Situated on the front of the center console - well within the reach of both the passenger
and driver - the iDrive joystick is designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand
when you rest your arm on the center console.
Literally hundreds of operations are possible, yet it is incredibly simple to use. In the next
installment, we'll discuss more detailed descriptions of iDrive's comfort functions.
The Art of Comfort
Take a seat in the 2002 7 Series and discover new frontiers of comfort and convenience.
The sleekly designed cabin of the new 7 is rich in welcoming details - from comfortable
New Classic leather and rich wood trim, to inspired interior styling cues, and uncommon
roominess. Everything reflects impeccable craftsmanship.
Take for example the new "scarab"-design center storage console. Its opposite-opening
dual lids cover a climate-controlled, lighted interior that includes a coin box, mobile
phone handset mounting, and trunk-release lockout. The lids are lockable, so valuables
can be securely stored when using valet parking.
Bright ideas in lighting increase the comfort and aesthetics of the new 7. Front and rear,
inside and out, the sedan positively glows on command. Reading and courtesy lights,
lighted storage areas, a swiveling visor vanity mirror, ground lighting and exterior handle
illumination, and even exit/entry lighting in door panels help keep everything in clear and
Of course, you don't have to sit behind the wheel to enjoy this vehicle's comforts.
Owners have long praised the 7's spacious, well-appointed rear passenger area. It's the
perfect space - intimate, yet with generous head, shoulder and leg room.
The new 7: modern comfort designed for your pleasure.
Visual Language of The New 7
"BMW does not build cars as consumer objects to just drive from point A to point B. We
build mobile works of art that express the driver's preference for quality, and satisfy the
needs of the individual."
--Chris Bangle, BMW Design Chief
The past decade has witnessed a great renaissance in automotive design. Under the
leadership of Design Chief Chris Bangle, BMW has explored new formal possibilities, and
introduced some of its most unique and ambitious designs, including the Z3 roadster, the
Z3 coupe, the Z8 roadster, and the Z9 concept car. These cars prefigure the innovative
interior ergonomics featured in the new 7, and experiment with new shapes for the
A graduate of the renowned Pasadena Art Center College of Design, and the first
American to serve as BMW Design Chief, Chris Bangle leads with a vision of the
automobile as a work of art: "The timeless masterpiece is the fruit of long, patient, and
loving research. Cars are only reproduced by machines; it is the hand of man that creates
and sculpts every surface."
A BMW is literally "sculpture in motion." Inside and out, from kidney grille to rear lights,
its proportions, lines, colors and textures join in a single, harmonious expression of BMW
The "sculptural" quality of BMWs can be attributed in part to the fact that their surfaces
are first formed by hand, using three-dimensional, clay modeling techniques. Chris
Bangle's team includes highly specialized modelers who can transform a designer's
computer renderings into tangible material forms.
Most manufacturers have abandoned this practice for cheaper, computerized modeling
techniques. But BMW persists, in the belief that the human hand is the best tool for
creating emotional, dynamic sculptures. Machinery is only used during the final stages of
the clay modeling process - to reproduce the forms shaped by human hands. This
painstaking design process ensures that every detail of the new 7 reflects BMW's core
values. BMW designers literally run their hands over every inch of the vehicle's surface,
inside and out, until it looks and feels exactly the way it was envisioned.
The presence of greatness
The new 7 expresses a commanding, sporty dynamic in every detail. The look on its face
says, "This is the future of luxury performance."
Though still unmistakably BMW, the new 7 embodies revolutionary design features. To
name just a few of the most prominent:
• Vehicle body is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor.
• Passenger cabin is set back, making it clear that there is Power up front.
• Wheels are big: standard 18" with 245/50 tires all season tires and optional 19"
with 245/45 front, 275/40 rear performance tires.
• "Rocker panels" or side sills underscore the big-wheel look.
• BMW kidney grilles are positioned high and assertively.
• Coupe-like roofline.
• Adaptive brakelights.
• Quad headlights featuring "eyebrow-like" turn signal indicators.
All things considered, the new 7 represents a major leap forward in the design of luxury
performance sedans - a bold statement of BMW's leadership in defining the future of
The new paragon of safety
Remarkably nimble reflexes and state-of-the-art protective features make the new 7
Series one of the most secure vehicles BMW has ever built.
The new 7 offers all of its predecessor's renowned active and passive safety features -
and takes them to the next level. It will help you avoid accidents with technology like
Dynamic Stability Control, massive brakes, and quick engine response at all engine
speeds. And when an accident is simply unavoidable, the BMW will help protect you and
your passengers with a carefully orchestrated system of airbags, crumple zones, safety
belts, and much more.
To endow the new 7 with these safety systems required "brains." Specifically, it required
ISIS - BMW's all-new Intelligent Safety and Information System. Fourteen sensors
precisely assess crash situations and determine the best deployment strategy for safety
restraints throughout the vehicle. ISIS helps provide the most effective and efficient use
of devices such as the Advanced Head Protection System (AHPS), front-and side-impact
airbags, and safety-belt pretensioners. Among its many benefits, ISIS helps to prevent
the unnecessary use of airbags, minimizing repair costs.
Special new safety features for knee and head/neck protection also appear in the new 7
Series. The world's first Active Knee Protection system uses dedicated airbags to offer
extra protection for the knees of the driver and front-seat occupant, going far beyond
standard government regulations. When two sensors detect a rear-end collision,
pyrotechnic Active Head Restraints (included in the Active Comfort seat) rapidly and
automatically pivot forward, supporting the heads of the driver and the front seat
With innovations and enhancements to nearly every aspect of driver and occupant
safety, the new 7 represents BMW's - and the world's - new paragon of safety.
A seductive interior
Imagine yourself behind the wheel in one of the most alluring interiors on earth. BMW
has made the new 7 cabin so inviting, so luxurious, you might never want to leave. Fine
materials, lavish details, and unexpected conveniences make this the perfect space. From
the unique look and feel of its cockpit, to its advanced communications options,
amazingly comfortable seats and large trunk, the new 7 puts an uncommon degree of
luxury right at your fingertips.
A host of thoughtful features add to your sense of well-being in the new 7 Series. There
are the visual and tactile pleasures of sumptuous Nasca leather, accented with generous
amount of wood trim. The crisp, sweeping lines of BMW's ergonomic cockpit. And
unexpected conveniences, such as the power outlet in the front passenger's side
footwell area. BMW's communication systems keep you in touch with the world through
a standard portable digital-analog cellular phone, cradled in the center storage
compartment. BMW gives you a choice of three ways to dial a number: you can use
hands-free Voice Activation; dial the number on the Telecommander keypad stored in
the dash; or access the number through the dash-mounted control display.
The optional Active Ventilated Seat Package pampers drivers in several ways. The Active
seat feature keeps spine and hip muscles gently moving, helping to reduce stiffness on
long trips; the Ventilated seat feature circulates cool air through microperforations in the
leather upholstery to keep you cool and dry in hot weather; and three-way heating adds
welcome warmth in cool weather. A rear armrest with storage compartment is included
The new 7's innovative layout and trunk-lid hinge create more trunk space - enough
room for four sets of golf clubs - and facilitates a newly available feature, "automatic
trunk closing." To close the trunk with this option, one simply presses a button in the
light strip across the trunk lid. (For safety reasons, the trunk cannot be closed from
inside the vehicle or via the remote control key.)
These are just a few of the luxuries that make the new 7 a uniquely BMW driving
Advanced stability systems
BMW does its level best at creating a smooth ride in the new 7 - especially in sharp
turns, thanks to the new technology Active Roll Stabilization and Dynamic Stability
BMW's new Active Roll Stabilization (ARS), standard in the 2002 7 Series, reduces body
lean when cornering, helping to maintain a level cabin and smooth ride, even in tight
curves. Whenever the 745i/745Li enters a curve, the ARS system measures the degree of
leaning and modulates the hydraulic pressure that's applied to the active anti-roll bars.
The cabin remains comfortably level, and the 7's stellar handling is noticeably improved.
Like every new BMW, the new 7 comes standard with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC).
This system ensures a smooth, controlled drive, free from wheelspin. DSC continually
monitors your steering angle, lateral acceleration, yaw, and brake pressure to determine
your desired path. In a turn, if it detects over- or understeer, All Season Traction (AST)
modulates engine power and applies the brakes individually to help keep the vehicle on
track. And new Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is specially calibrated to improve
mobility when driving on slippery or loose surfaces.
The new 7's lightweight aluminum suspension deftly reduces unsprung weight. This
improves the 7's ability to respond to rough roads, and provides consistently excellent
ride comfort and handling. With its aluminum subframe, lower arms (links), strut housings
and other parts -- including even brake calipers -- the 745i/745Li is light enough to use
highly responsive rack-and-pinion steering which, in the 7, is specially engineered to
insulate the steering wheel from road shock.
Road-gripping handling; smooth, level turns; outstanding comfort - BMW's performance
heritage endows the new 7 with a ride unlike any other luxury sedan.
Logic 7: You won't believe your ears.
The cabin of the new 7 is exceptionally well insulated against exterior noises like wind,
traffic and rough road. No matter what's happening around the vehicle, you can roll-up
the windows and hear yourself think. This creates the perfect acoustic environment to
listen to music, and enjoy the superior performance of the optional Logic 7 audio system.
Like the finest home theater systems, Logic 7 creates a true Surround Sound
environment. In fact, BMW's Logic 7 system is the world's first automotive application of
this multi-channel surround sound technology. Its Digital Signal Processing (DSP) system
converts conventional two-channel stereo signals into a seven channel, 360 degree
sound field. This provides stunning musical accuracy, true to the original studio master
recordings. You're not simply listening to an orchestra; you could be at the live
Logic 7 is designed to provide the best possible sound at all times and includes
sophisticated speed relative equalization circuitry. For example, the system compensates
for increased wind, engine and road noise by automatically adjusting the sound quality to
maintain the proper balance of bass, mid-range and treble frequencies within the
interior. Manually fine-tuning the acoustic qualities of Logic 7 is also quite easy using the
iDrive control display and controller.
A remarkable 420 watts of sound is delivered using the latest Metal Matrix speaker
technology through 13 components, including two sub-woofers mounted beneath the
front seats. To enjoy your CDs on the road, the new 7 is equipped with a dash-mounted,
single-disc CD player. For the ultimate in convenience and refinement, an optional in-
dash six-disc changer is available as a factory-installed option.
Logic 7 delivers an acoustic experience previously available only in the world's finest
home theater systems. The only more exciting sounds will be from the silky V-8 under
the new 7's hood.