View Full Version : Excellent review of the 2010 xDrive 7er

07-03-2009, 01:10 PM
From today's edition (July 3, 2009) of Canada's National Post at:


Preview: 2010 BMW 750i xDrive

Sure-footed sedan

Graeme Fletcher, National Post

Despite the fact the new 7 Series was launched at the beginning of the year, BMW is already set to expand the model range. Toward the end of this year, the new V12-powered 760i will arrive with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The better news, at least for us denizens of the Great White North, is the addition of BMW's sophisticated xDrive all-wheel-drive system to the 750i. This is a first for the 7 Series and something that's destined to become very popular because of the ability it adds to an already sure-footed sedan.

Under normal circumstances, xDrive splits the power 40/60 front to rear. The beauty is that because the system monitors a number of different sensors (steering angle, throttle position, yaw and so on) xDrive is proactive, which means it begins to redistribute power before the car loses traction. When travelling at speed, the system relaxes the power split (20/80 front to rear). Conversely, matting the gas sees the system lock the centre differential. This splits the power evenly front to rear and banishes unwanted wheelspin. The 750i's system is as seamless as it is proficient.

Naturally, there's a topflight electronic stability/ dynamic traction control system (DSC with DTC). This electronic overseer not only does the usual understeer/ oversteer correction in conjunction with xDrive (it alters the power split to compensate for any wayward tendencies), it also features something called Performance Control.

This safety extension uses the brakes to physically turn the vehicle into a corner. For example, if the driver encounters understeer in a left-hand bend, the system does two things --it applies the left rear brake, which turns the car into the corner, and it ramps up the power output to counter drag cause by the brake application. The system has three modes -- on, DTC mode and off. The last setting is all but redundant because the DTC mode is so good at what it does. In practice, it reduces the car's natural understeering tendency because it allows the back end to drift out a little before reining things in.

When it comes to the 750i xDrive's driving dynamics, they are superb. Unlike so many large cars, this one does not feel like a yacht. Credit the stiff chassis, dialled-in active suspension and Dynamic Drive Control.

There are four modes in all. Comfort and normal are self-explanatory. Moving to the sport mode does a number of things. As well as firming both compression and rebound damping, it remaps the transmission so each gear is held a little longer, and it sharpens throttle response. The neat part is the driver can customize the settings through the iDrive system. One can select the suspension and steering facets alone, just the power-train changes or both.

Beyond that is the Sport+ mode. It sharpens everything while cutting back the electronic stability control's intervention point. In this mode, the 7 Series feels surprisingly spry on its P245/45R19 front and P275/40R19 rear tires. Remember, this is a full-bodied and portly sedan that tips the scales at more than 2,100 kilograms.

The xDrive model features the same 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 as in the regular 750i. This motor is not only sublimely smooth, it packs a hellacious punch when the gas is nailed. The secret boils down to the turbochargers nestled in the vee between the banks. When they spool up to speed, which happens in a hurry, the engine produces 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque anywhere between 1,800 and 4,500 rpm, which allows the 7 to run to 100 kilometres an hour in approximately 5.5 seconds.

Pushing the new 750i xDrive around BMW's proving grounds in Miramas and through the foothills north of the facility proved the car's dynamic advantages go well beyond the ability to drive all four wheels. In normal mode, the 750i xDrive did understeer on the wet and slippery handling track. However, the softer suspension settings took the sting out of the rough roads encountered on the run through the hills -- this is the setup for someone who's had a long, hard day at the office.

Engaging the Sport+ mode significantly changed the car's driving characteristics. Relaxing the stability control's intervention point and reducing the amount of power going to the front wheels makes the all-wheel-drive 7 feel more like its rear-drive sibling. There was less understeer on the track and it pulled out of a hilly hairpin with more authority. When a spirited drive is the order of the day, this is the right mode.

Adding the ability of xDrive to the usual accoutrement that defines the 750i is a smart move because of the manner in which it all comes together. BMW [Canada Inc.] expects 80% of 7 Series buyers to tick the all-wheel-drive option box when ordering their cars. I would if it was my money on the line.

Best regards.


07-06-2009, 08:04 PM

2010 BMW 750i / 750Li xDrive - First Drive Review

BMW’s flagship 7-series finally pushes from all four corners.


June 2009

Among folks fortunate enough to live outside the Snowbelt, all-wheel drive is usually brought up only in conjunction with pickup trucks and Jeep Wranglers. For those of us who have to deal with snow and freezing conditions for months every year, though, an all-wheel-drive car can be the difference between getting to work and getting stuck at the end of your driveway. Indeed, here in Michigan, just about every luxury ride on the road wears an “x” or “4MATIC” or “Quattro” badge on its rump, signifying four-wheel power, with the BMW 7-series being one of the only cars in its competitive set not to offer all-wheel drive. Until now.

Fitting all-wheel drive to a big rear-drive car, however, can run the risk of upsetting driving dynamics. Take the current BMW 535i xDrive. With its power distribution tightly set at 40 percent front and 60 percent rear, it understeers like a baseball player barreling headfirst into home plate. Now imagine if the 7-series, which in short-wheelbase form has over seven more inches between the axles and at least 600 pounds on the 535i xDrive, were fitted with the same system. Dynamic disaster. So the engineers at BMW took that previous version of xDrive—currently used in the 3-series as well as the 5-series—and reconfigured it in such a way that the all-wheel-drive 7 handles just as well as, if not better than, its rear-drive sibling.

Throw even the extended-wheelbase 750Li xDrive into a corner, and you’d think you were driving something the size of a 335i, with nicely weighted steering that gets a bit heavier as you go through a corner and the front wheels pull you through. Gone is the fun-killing understeer that was exhibited in the 535i xDrive, replaced by more neutral behavior.

Among the systems that help the xDrive 7 dance is “performance control,” a torque-vectoring system already featured on the two-wheel-drive 7-series that applies light braking to the inside rear wheel while adding power to the outside rear wheel, correcting for understeer without the driver ever knowing. Additionally, the 7-series is fitted with active front and rear anti-roll bars that adjust to keep the pitch of the big sedan going in its intended direction. Remember the 535i xDrive’s fixed power split and the resulting push? Perhaps the most important characteristic of the new 7-series version of xDrive is that it can variably adjust from the normal 40/60 front-to-rear torque split to, say, 20/80 when cornering or 0/100 when parking (to avoid binding). Up to 100 percent of available power can be sent fore or aft should one set of wheels completely lose traction, too. The front-to-rear power ratios are not fixed, which allows the car’s computer to adjust back to the normal 40/60 torque split as it deems necessary. The result is, as we said, one seriously fine-handling luxo-barge, although it must be noted that only eight-cylinder 7-series customers will be able to opt for xDrive. It will not be offered on the forthcoming 12-cylinder 760i and 760Li.

The xDrive system adds 187 pounds over a standard 750i, with the car’s overall heft redistributed in such a way that only one additional percent of the car’s weight sits over the front axle, which assists the 7 in its handling prowess. The xDrive 750 will command a $2300 premium when it goes on sale this October—which is just in time to help us Snowbelters escape our snowy driveways.

Best regards.


New Motors
07-09-2009, 06:35 AM
And It can be ordered as of today!

07-09-2009, 09:54 AM
And It can be ordered as of today!

Do you have 2010 pricing available?

07-09-2009, 11:15 AM
Some very nice innovations here - and for only $2300!!!
- pairing of ARS with xDrive
- torque vectoring
- variable torque split

I wonder if they had to jack up the suspension, per usual X-drive versions.

07-09-2009, 03:03 PM
Have any other prices changed for MY2010?

07-09-2009, 03:34 PM
Have any other prices changed for MY2010?

Pricing and lease rates are generally only released just prior to the first shipments arriving - late Sept? But expect pricing similar to 2009 models.

New Motors
07-14-2009, 04:49 PM
hayden- Sorry did not come back sooner. No prices as of yet just build sheets.