Posted - Feb 11 2009 : 12:21:44
Yesterday I was down in San Diego for BMWs training and ride and drive on the new 2009 7-series (chassis code F01). I had a GREAT time.
BMW had about 20 new $100,000 7-Series on hand for the event.
One of the things I respect about BMW is their focus on producing the HIGHEST ENGINEERING ACHIEVEMENT and RESPECTING PAST achievements by respecting BMW heritage. This event was no different. Even though this was a fairly basic sales training, BMW set up a very cool mini museum to respect the 7 series heritage…complete with two real cars, including an e23.
The E23 on hand was super cool: a euro car with sport seats in corduroy, Ronal wheels and all kinds of cool stuff. I am not sure if it was a turbo, but I think not, as the BBS spoiler and exhaust did not have the usual turbo features. Anyway it was WAY cool of BMW to honor the e23 like this. Sorry about the poor cell phone pics:
Have you even seen a badge like this? WHO can tell me more about this particular car??
Anyone know about it?
BMW History board - for each BMW chassis model, BMW had a very funny display board of what was going on at the time.
And a close up of the glove – not sure if it was the actual one!
Driving the new 7 was a delight and a thrill. I knew I would have future opportunities to drive this car, so I took advantage of the chance to ride in the passenger seat (I was out with two other BMW employees and I had good confidence in their driving abilities.) and enjoy the features and comfort and also to sit in the rear seat to really bask in the sensuous luxury that is offered.
As with all 7 series, a major focus is on passenger comfort. The 09 takes this to the next level. I have never seen such seating in the rear of a car. It is absolutely unreal! The rear seats have a million different adjustments to raise, lower, tilt, heat, cool and massage you. Even the rear headrests have that little adjustable pillows feature that we’ve had on the front multi-contour seats for the past few years. BMW has even brought back the rear seat control to manipulate the front passenger seat like we have in the E23 with executive pkg! Simply awesome!
Driving the car was both thrilling…and serene. The sensation of having such torque at your command makes you feel powerful and successful, as does being able to EASILY break loose the 275/40/19 tires at a standstill. Start off with the console selector on COMFORT and enjoy a very smooth, yet solid ride quality. Freeway cruising did not last long at the triple digit speeds I was traveling, but I especially enjoyed the technology assistance features like Lane Departure Warning (which vibrates the steering wheel lightly when you cross over lane markings), blind spot detection (which causes small hazard triangles on the outside mirrors to blink when an object is in your blindspot), and active cruise control (which maintains a preset distance between you and cars in front of you – even braking when required).
But the real joy is being able to flip the ride selector to SPORT and press the throttle through the twisties. The sensation of commanding 450 ft/lbs through a silky smooth 6 speed Steptronic as you fling 6,000 lbs of BMW engineering through a corner is NUTS The grip this car commands is uncanny and the chassis or suspension doesn’t clunk or complain in any way! Flip the “joystick” steptronic shifter handle into MANUAL mode and snick snick through the gears, and in and out of the corners. Pure joy!
Some interesting facts about the new 7:
There is no slot to insert the ignition key. Keyless go is standard on the car and you need merely have the key INSIDE the car to start and go!
There are cameras on the sides of the front bumpers (in front of the front wheel) so you can see around corners!
The V8 twin turbo only displaces 4.4 liters but puts out more power than the venerable old Mercedes Benz S550 V8!
The sport package includes rear wheel steering, which improves the turning radius by nearly 3 feet and high speed handling is tight and without any rear end “sway.”
Although the dashboard looks just like the analog dashboards we are used to, it is actually a digital image. Parts of the guages change, depending on the function you desire. For example, instead of looking at fuel in the tank as fractions of a tank, you can instead opt to view it as miles remaining. The guages look real, even 3D - just like real ones. The needles are white during the day, and orange at night!
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