E65 V12 debuts
Quite a luxury car, very good engine power. 11.3:1 compression is rather high for a 6.0L engine
Vee Twelve Power
BMW has officially launched its line-topping V12-engined 7 series luxury sedans. The 12 cylinder engine, also known as the N73B60, will be available in both the E65 760i and the E66 760Li long wheel base models.
What can we say: 6.0 liters of displacement, 438 horsepower, 444 lb-ft. of torque, (that's 327kW of power at 6000 rpm and a muscular 600Nm of torque at 3950 rpm. in metric-speak) VALVETRONIC and double VANOS! That pretty much says it all. Oh, 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds when dropped inside a 760Li. All that while using mere 13.6-liters per 100km.
The 'M' in BMW stands for 'Motor' and with this powerplant BMW looks to prove it is still the best in the game. Here's more info from Munich.
BMW 760Li: The new Ultimate Luxury Driving Machine arrives
It has been barely a year since BMW’s “New 7” was introduced, but what an eventful year for BMW. No mere evolutionary product, The New 7 was instead a bold statement about who BMW is, what BMW stands for, and where BMW intends to go. “With help from its suppliers,” stated no less august a source than Automotive Engineering International in its March ‘02 issue, “BMW has produced a vehicle that blazes the engineering trail with innovations that will influence passenger vehicles for years to come. The new BMW 7 Series was selected by the readers and editors of AEI as Best Engineered Vehicle for 2002 because it points the way not only for luxury/performance sedans but also for other vehicle segments.”
Indeed, the new 7 Series moved courageously into the future of luxury automobiles with new solutions to the challenges of contemporary driving and new stimuli for the esthetic sensibilities of our times. There ensued then a certain level of controversy, as would be expected with so bold a leap away from established directions. And when the controversy began to settle, the verdict of critics and customers alike was overwhelmingly positive:
• In the first ten months of calendar ’02, the two new 7 Series models very significantly outsold the three-model line that had preceded them, achieving a dramatic 45% increase over the same period of 2001. Worldwide, by the 6-month mark after its launch, The New 7 had moved into first place among 8-cylinder luxury sedans.
• The Robb Report (June ’02) reported: “I’m driving the BMW on the day after we have set our clocks forward for daylight savings. I’m pleased with the extra 60 minutes of sunshine, but disappointed that I have one less hour to master the car’s technology and enjoy the 745i’s performance.”
• European Car wrote in its February ’02 issue, “Several of BMW’s engineers present expressed both surprise and pleasure that we were driving the new 7 Series as if it were a 3 Series. That, in the end, is the genius of BMW: To make cars that drive exactly the way cars should, combining comfort and performance with little compromise.”
• Automobile Magazine concluded in its December ’01 issue, “The 745i is a refined car that covers ground with deceptive speed and with a minimum of fuss, drama, and effort.”
• And AutoWeek, in its October 22, 2001 issue: “BMW’s new flagship has everything, and more."
All this was from The New 7’s first model year, 2002. Now, for 2003, BMW - never known for resting on its achievements - has added further appeal to these ultimate luxury-driving machines by the addition of a third, decisively top-of-line model, the 760Li. If the original V8-powered 745i and 745Li “had everything,” this new V-12 model most assuredly has “more” of virtually everything that makes the 7 Series such a dazzling automobile.
Heart of the 760Li: a new V-12 engine of dazzling technology and performance
As BMW had offered a 12-cylinder model in the previous 7 Series, the 750iL, it was natural and expected that a 12-cylinder version of the new Series would in time make its debut.
The E38 750iL, offered through 2001, was powered by a V-12 of 5.4 liters with single overhead camshafts and 2 valves per cylinder; that engine’s output was 326 horsepower - a figure now matched by the 7 Series’ V-8.
The V-12 powering the new 760Li is completely new, with 6.0 liters of displacement, dual overhead camshafts (per cylinder bank) and 4 valves per cylinder. Designated N73, it is also related to the N62 V-8 engine that powers the two 745 models, in that the two engines share key technologies and overall engineering architecture; yet it also introduces groundbreaking new technologies of its own.
The V-12 configuration has long been recognized as an ultimate power plant concept, suited for top-class vehicles. Its physics are ideal: 12 cylinders arranged in a 60° “vee” of two cylinder banks are perfectly balanced; combined with the relatively even power pulses of so many cylinders, this results in a supremely smooth propulsion unit.
This V-12 is also a supremely powerful unit, delivering a monumental 438 horsepower and 444 lb-ft. of torque; for perspective, compare this to the 325 hp and 330 lb-ft. that give the 745i its 0-60-mph capability of 5.9 seconds and you can easily envision the performance potential of the V-12!
A closer look at BMW’s direct fuel injection
Let’s take a look now at the most significant new technology in this new engine: direct fuel injection. Indeed, this is the first direct-injected gasoline V-12 engine ever offered in a production automobile, and the first direct-injected gasoline engine to meet contemporary expectations regarding emission control.
Direct fuel injection means injection of the fuel directly into the combustion chamber, rather into the intake port as is the norm; it has been chosen and developed by BMW’s power train engineers to boost power output and fuel efficiency to higher levels than could be achieved with conventional fuel injection. BMW’s system operates on a stoichiometrically optimum fuel-air mixture (l = 1) and can be emission-controlled by conventional, proven 3-way catalyst technology. By contrast, other direct-injection concepts currently under development in the auto industry (such as lean-burn or stratified-charge) can achieve greater fuel-efficiency gains than the concept chosen by BMW, but these depend on unproven “deNOx” catalyst technology and require sulfur-free fuel, which is not universally available. Thus BMW has deployed a technology that is actually usable in the real world at present.
The injector nozzles are positioned within the combustion chambers, near the intake valves. The combustion chambers themselves are configured - and fully machined - for minimum emissions and noise and maximum performance. Fuel is supplied to the nozzles via a “common rail” (a technology partly responsible for the excellent performance of diesel engines offered today in Europe ) in which fuel pressure is maintained at high levels between 30 and 100 bar (435-3,000 lb./sq in.); the higher the injection pressure, the finer the fuel droplets and the better the combustion process. This pressure is generated by one mechanical pump for each cylinder bank, positioned above the exhaust camshaft, and driven by a dedicated cam.
This high pressure - far higher than that supplied by the electric fuel pump of conventionally fuel-injected engines - is necessitated by the fact that fuel is being injected directly into the cylinders, where high combustion pressures prevail. As in other contemporary engines, the timing and quantity of fuel injected are controlled via electromagnetic valves by the engine’s electronic management system.
An extra-high compression ratio, 11.3:1 vs. the V-8’s 10.5:1, also contributes to the engine’s high performance and the excellent fuel efficiency relative to its capabilities.
Continuing the innovations pioneered in the 7 Series V-8
In addition to its own exclusive direct fuel injection, the new V-12 shares most of the advanced technologies that made their debut with the new N62 V-8 in the 7 Series a year ago. Among these innovations:
Valvetronic: revolutionary new “breathing” concept.
As a BMW-patented world first, Valvetronic dispenses with a conventional throttle and, instead, varies valve lift to regulate engine power.
The Valvetronic mechanism sits atop the intake valves on both cylinder banks. Each of the engine’s 48 valves (4 per cylinder) is actuated as the camshaft lobe deflects a finger-type rocker arm. On the intake side, however, there is an additional element between the cam lobe and rocker arm, called an intermediate follower.
Upon contact by the camshaft lobe, the intermediate follower actuates the rocker arm and, in turn, the valve. The intermediate follower is positioned by an eccentric shaft that can be rotated by a servo motor; this shaft, whose commands come from the electronic engine management system in response to the driver’s accelerator-pedal movements, varies the intermediate follower’s pivot point, which determines the amount of valve lift. Lift can be varied between 0.2 mm and 9.8 mm, providing a range of engine operation all the way from idling to full power. Valvetronic provides abundant advantages:
• Greater efficiency. By eliminating the “pumping losses” associated with a throttle, Valvetronic significantly improves efficiency in low-load operation, i.e. in gentle to moderate driving. As most driving is done in this range, a significant improvement in overall fuel efficiency results.
• More spontaneous engine response. Elimination of the throttle brings atmospheric pressure right up to the cylinder, improving engine response to the accelerator.
• More power. Valvetronic allows higher valve lift than would be feasible with a conventional valve system, thereby increasing the engine’s maximum power output.
Double VANOS variable valve timing.
In addition to Valvetronic’s variation of valve lift, BMW’s Double VANOS system varies valve timing by rotating the intake and exhaust camshafts steplessly between “earliest” and “latest” settings for further optimization of engine power, emissions and fuel efficiency. VANOS stands for VAriable NOckenwellen Steuerung, German for “variable camshaft control.” This is not a particular feature of the N62 or N73, as it is present in other current BMW engines; but the combination of VANOS and Valvetronic is exclusive to the new “N” family of power plants.
Continuing an advanced feature of BMW’s top luxury-model engines, the 760Li’s alternator is liquid-cooled. It is more compact than conventional air-cooled alternators, produces more electrical power, and is fully encapsulated for exceptional quietness.
For lightweight and longwearing durability, the engine’s cylinder block is of Alusil, or silicon-impregnated cast aluminum. After casting, a “soft honing” machine removes just enough of the aluminum from the cylinder walls to leave silicon crystals as their ultra-hard working. The engine’s weight of 280 kg, or 617 lb., is quite moderate considering its size and power.
Sound and no sound: the unique sonority and character of V-12 power
The sound and mechanical character of an engine cannot easily be quantified, but they certainly can be experienced. The 760Li’s V-12 is not merely a larger, more powerful engine than the wonderful V-8 powering the 745 models, but rather an engine of different, even more special character.
The ideal balance and closely spaced firing intervals of a 60° V-12 have already been alluded to. But the sonority of a V-12 - quite distinct from those of a V-8 or BMW’s legendary inline 6-cylinders - is also something quite special. It’s a deep-throated, authoritative voice; and yet because it is also stringently controlled in the 760Li’s luxurious ambiance, the beholder may want to switch off the powerful and multi-dimensional Logic 7 audio system for a while just to savor it. A perfect way to begin this sampling is to push the START button; even during starting, the tight spacing of power pulses results in a unique sound.
As always in a BMW, the sonorities are a deliberate, carefully developed constellation of “sound” and “no sound.” For luxury and refinement, we want quietness, and in gentle driving this is one of the quietest automobiles ever. Yet a BMW is about driving pleasure, not merely luxury; thus when Valvetronic and VANOS are at full steam, the new V-12 speaks a pleasing voice that appropriately communicates its monumental authority.
Finally, a V-12 delivers its power in a thoroughly relaxed manner. With its immense torque, it can thrust this nearly 4900-lb. luxury liner forward without breathing heavily. And because all that torque makes it possible, the engineers have given it such “long-legged” gearing that the engine is turning a mere 2500 rpm at 100 mph in 6th gear!
6-speed STEPTRONIC transmission: optimum path of V-12 power to the road
Like the V-8 models, the 760Li comes standard with an advanced 6-speed automatic transmission. The many innovations of this thoroughly premium unit include -
• Lightness and compactness: amazingly, it is lighter and more compact than the 5-speed automatic of the previous 750iL.
• Mechatronic internal controls, combining hydraulic and mechanical elements and reducing external wiring.
• Standby Control, which partially disengages one of the internal clutches to reduce fuel consumption and the tendency to creep during idling in gear. (More to come about “creep.”)
• Electric driver interface. The main transmission selector is not a mechanical lever between the front seats, but an electric control just ahead of the steering-wheel rim. This selector provides Park, Neutral, Reverse and Drive positions; the currently selected position is indicated in the instrument cluster.
Other elements of the electric driver interface appear on the face of the steering wheel, and mark a departure from the original 745i/Li models. This is because the 760Li introduces the new STEPTRONIC form of this transmission, which enables the driver to make up- and downshifts at will:
• In place of the L/D selector on the right side of the steering-wheel center, there is an S/M/D selector: Sport, Manual, and Drive.
• In addition to the two satin-finish downshift buttons near the wheel rim and facing the driver, there are now two buttons on the back of the rim (thus facing away from the driver) for up shifts.
• Instead of the Limit mode (the “L” of the previous selector), the new selector offers Sport and Manual modes in addition to Drive. The Sport mode effects shifts higher engine speeds for a livelier performance feel within automatic operation; in the Manual mode, the driver can up- and downshift at will, respectively, by pressing the face-side shift buttons or those on the forward side.
Automatic Hold: 'hill holder' or no-creep function
Via the iDrive monitor’s Configuration menu, the driver can select the Automatic Hold feature. This automatically holds hydraulic pressure to the four wheel brakes anytime the vehicle comes to a stop, eliminating any tendency of the vehicle to “creep” when the engine is idling and the transmission engaged. The feature can also hold the vehicle stationary when it is stopped on a hill; also, when it is activated the electromechanical parking brake engages automatically anytime the engine is switched off. “Auto P” appears in the instrument cluster when Auto Hold is selected.
Handling, ride and braking: all the advances of The New 7, plus additional standard features
Fully as advanced as the new 7 Series’ power train, driver interface and design are its chassis features. It was no coincidence that European Car discovered “that we were driving the new 7 Series as if it were a 3 Series,” nor that Germany’s authoritative auto motor und sport discovered “astoundingly agile handling” (October 2, ’01). This after the German magazine raved about the 7’s “first-class riding comfort,” specifically its ability to soak up short as well as long undulations in the road surface.
The 7’s remarkable road capabilities stem from a constellation of high-caliber chassis engineering, including -
• An immensely strong, rigid body/chassis unit, achieved by greater use of high-strength steels, new-age adhesives and all-around engineering for strength and vibration resistance without excess weight. Aluminum hood and front fenders help optimize the unit’s strength-to-weight ratio and the vehicle’s weight distribution.
• Aluminum suspension components, which reduce “unsprung weight” - that mass that must move up and down with the wheels as they encounter road irregularities. This markedly improves riding comfort and, on any rough road surface, handling as well.
• Active Roll Stabilization. An electrohydraulic system that controls active anti-roll (stabilizer) bars in response to cornering forces to reduce body roll or “lean.” 7 Series vehicles corner amazingly “flat” - so much so that this just has to be experienced to be believed.
• Variable-ratio, variable-assist rack-and-pinion power steering. The Servotronic vehicle-speed-sensitive power assist combines with a variable ratio to produce unmatched steering response, precision, and road feel.
On the 745 models, an additional feature - Electronic Damping Control - is available to make their combination of riding comfort and handling prowess even more amazing. On those models, EDC comes in an optional Adaptive Ride Package that also includes self-leveling rear air springs; on the 760Li, both these features are standard.
EDC was also standard on the previous V-12 model, but the new version is markedly evolved. Whereas the previous EDC automatically switched the shock absorbers among three levels of firmness according to road and driving conditions, the new system is stepless, adjusting them to any level of firmness between their softest and firmest settings:
• Ride firmness is always at the optimum level for current road conditions, speed, and the load the vehicle is carrying (passengers and luggage).
• On smooth roads, the shock absorbers are kept “soft” for best riding comfort.
• When the vehicle is rounding a sharp corner or curve, they are instantly adjusted to a firmer, just-right level.
• When the vehicle encounters irregular road surfaces, such as bumps or ripples (“washboard” surface), the shocks are automatically adjusted to the optimum level of firmness to control ride motions, keep riding comfort at an acceptable level, and maintain adhesion to the road.
• Additionally, a Sport setting selected via a console switch increases firmness for a sportier driving feel. In another refinement over the previous system, the Sport mode now varies the shock absorber according to conditions, but always keeps them at a higher level of firmness than in the Comfort setting. Steering assist is also reduced in this setting.
Germany’s auto motor und sport tested an EDC-equipped 745i for its November 14, ’01 issue. “Even in its Comfort setting,” read the report, “the 745i is very agile, and at the same time offers hitherto unknown riding comfort.”
“When EDC’s Sport mode is activated,” continued the test report, “the 7 is transformed from a polite Autobahn cruiser to a hot-blooded curve carver.”
A user’s preferred EDC setting can be captured in the Key Memory settings, so that when that user’s remote is the one that unlocks the vehicle and turns on the ignition, his or her EDC setting is automatically selected.
Rear air suspension: a new path to self-leveling
The 760Li’s standard self-leveling rear suspension represents another advance over the predecessor models.
In the new system, air springs replace the rear coil springs; self-leveling is via an electric air compressor and sensors that recognize changes in vehicle loading. When the sensors detect a longer-term change in the ride height at the rear (as with a full passenger load or heavy loads in the trunk), the pressure in the air springs is increased to bring the vehicle back to its normal attitude.
The 7 Series’ standard Bi-xenon headlights also incorporate dynamic auto-leveling - their aim is instantly adjusted to transitory changes in vehicle attitude, such as acceleration and braking, so with regard to self-leveling, the 760Li truly has all its bases covered.
Brakes: among BMW’s largest, most powerful ever
All 7 Series models have ventilated discs all around, generously sized at 348 mm/13.6 in. at the front and 345 mm/13.7 in. at the rear. The brakes also incorporate further refinements:
Aluminum calipers, like the aluminum suspension, reduce unsprung weight.
Electronic brake proportioning. Via the Dynamic Stability Control wheel-speed sensors, the amount of slip at each wheel is measured when the brakes are applied, and pressure to the front and rear brakes is apportioned accordingly. This makes best use of the available braking traction at the tires and helps distribute brake and tire wear more evenly.
Dynamic Brake Control reinforces the driver’s pedal effort in emergency braking, helping the driver achieve the shortest possible stopping distance.
Electromechanical parking brake. As a first in a production automobile, the parking brake is applied electrically rather than directly by human effort. To engage it, the driver presses a button at the left side of the instrument panel.
Automatic Hold, described earlier.
Brake-wear display. Instead of a simple warning indicating that it’s time to renew the brake pads, the iDrive monitor offers in its Vehicle menu a display of the estimated mileage at which replacement of the pads will be due.
19-inch wheels and tires standard, 18-in. optional; plus a run-flat option
In the United States, the 760Li comes standard with 19-in. wheels and tires and offers two interesting sets of optional wheel-and-tire equipment.
The standard 19 x 9.0 (front) and 19 x 10 (rear) forged alloy wheels in a star-spoke pattern (design #89), carry 245/45R-19 (front) and 275/40R-19 (rear) performance tires. As on most BMW models, the spare wheel/tire is a full-use one. To further enhance handling and sporty appearance, 18 x 8.0 forged-alloy wheels in a design exclusive to the 760Li (design #91) are offered as an option, with 245/50R-18 V-rated all-season tires.
Run-flat tires are newly available for all ’03 7 Series models (at no extra cost). Mounted on distinctive Multi-Spoke wheels (design #94), they are dimensioned like the optional 18-inch equipment. The run-flat system consists of self-supporting tires and special wheel rims; the tires’ special sidewalls include specific inserts and highly heat-resistant rubber compounds. These features allow a deflated tire to maintain its essential shape and guidance characteristics for a considerable distance; all stability systems remain fully functional.
The Tire Pressure Monitor remains a separate option but is required with the run-flat option. Via a tiny sensor and radio-frequency transmitter at each tire’s valve stem, TPM continually monitors air pressure in the tires. Should there be significant loss of pressure in any tire, it triggers a pressure-loss indicator in the instrument cluster. This system also recognizes and indicates even normal loss of tire pressure over longer periods of time.
Stability-enhancing technology: Dynamic Traction Control
It has always been possible to de-activate the traction and stability functions of BMW’s Dynamic Stability Control via a console switch. All 7 Series models add a further capability: Dynamic Traction Control, or DTC.
The normal traction-control function not only applies the brakes of individual wheels as they start to slip, but also reduces engine power. This keeps the vehicle very stable, but under certain conditions (such as climbing a snow-covered hill) can leave little power to move forward. At low speeds and in gentle cornering maneuvers, DTC de-activates engine intervention. As speed and/or cornering vigor increases, DTC progressively restores engine intervention. To the driver, DTC means -
• Enhanced traction under low-friction conditions (sand, gravel, deep or packed snow).
• Greater utilization of the driver’s skill at low speeds under these low-friction conditions.
• Maintenance of full DSC stability benefits under higher-speed, more vigorous driving conditions.
All the familiar DSC functions are included in the 7 Series system:
• All-speed traction control
• Electronic brake-force proportioning
• Antilock braking (ABS)
• Cornering Brake Control, which modifies braking action to enhance stability when the brakes are applied while cornering
• Dynamic Brake Control, which reinforces the driver’s pedal effort under emergency braking conditions
• Cornering and avoidance stabilization.
Exterior distinctions: how to spot a 760Li
The 760Li shares its 123.2-in. wheelbase with the longer V-8 model, the 745Li, and there are some subtle design details that distinguish it from that model:
• Wider grille surrounds
• “V12” logo on the front side panels
• Different wheels, as described earlier
As a distinction from the shorter-wheelbase 745i, both Li models have roof finisher moldings, coursing from the bottom of the A-pillars to the trunk lid; and chrome framing on the front and rear bumpers.
Even more lavish luxury inside the 760Li
All 7 Series cabins are lavishly upholstered, trimmed, and equipped; the 760Li takes luxury to an even higher level than that of the 745s. As a distinctive “760Li welcome,” each doorsill trim incorporates an illuminated “V12” insignia.
As in the 745s, New Classic leather, microperforated for natural ventilation, is available in five color combinations. Their already extensive leather treatment is expanded with -
• Stitched leather trim on the instrument panel
• Rear sides of the front-seat backrests in leather
• A leather bag for vehicle documents.
Wood trim is also specific to the 760Li. Whereas the 745s come standard with matte-finish Black Cherry and offer high-gloss Ash (either in two colors, depending on interior color scheme) as a no-extra-cost option, the 760Li gets its own exclusive wood. This is also high-gloss Ash, but in a two-tone treatment with rich inlays. It is also more extensive in the 760Li, adding wood to the -
• foldable roof grab handles over the side windows
• front-seat backrests’ folding pockets (themselves a distinction from the 745s’ elastic pockets).
Further 760Li luxury touches include Ambiance Lighting (LEDs softly illuminating center consoles and doors) on the C-pillars; Alcantara headliner and sun visors; and matte-finish metal trim on the trunk’s loading ledge.
20-way front Comfort Seats are standard in the 745Li and 760Li; the 760Li adds the following features that are optional in the V-8 models:
• Active Support. Two stretchable hollow cavities are filled and emptied alternately with a freeze-proof mixture of water and glysantine. This slow, gentle process (repeating about once a minute) creates a cyclical raising and lowering of the seat cushion’s left and right halves by about half an inch; driver and passenger can switch on or off as desired. Helps relieve fatigue and discomfort during extended trips.
• Active Ventilation. A ventilator fan inside the front seats gently blows air upward through an internal web and the microperforated leather to help reduce occupants’ perspiration.
• Heated front and rear seats.
Also standard in the 760Li are rear Comfort Seats, which are optional in the 745Li. These 14-way power seats bring most of the benefits of the front Comfort Seats to rear passengers, including Active Ventilation. The outboard rear seats are configured as individual seats and have the following power adjustments:
• Fore-aft, 100 mm/3.9 in.
• Cushion angle, adjustment range 6.2°.
• Backrest angle, from 2° in upright “work” position to 6° in “recline” position; with the seat fully forward, the backrest can be reclined a further 9°.
• Angle of upper backrest, 20° adjustment range.
• Firmness of lumbar support.
• Height of lumbar support.
• Head-restraint height, 65-mm/2.6-in. adjustment range; also, the head restraint rises automatically to its preset position when an occupant sits in the seat and retracts when the seat is not occupied.
The front passenger’s seat can be adjusted from the right rear seat’s power controls, and there is a switch that returns the rear Comfort Seat to its “home” or base position. Finally, like the front seats, the rear Comfort Seats include a 2-position memory system. The center seat is fixed.
Power sunshades for the rear window and rear door windows, another optional 745i/Li feature, are standard in the 760Li. Each rear door gets two sunshades: one for the movable window, one for the fixed rear quarter glass.
Logic 7: an ultimate audio system
BMW’s ultimate audio system, optional in the V-8 models, is standard in the 760Li. Compared to the standard 745i/Li system, Logic 7, developed by Lexicon, is comprehensively upgraded from an already excellent system:
• Increased audio power (420 watts vs. 180)
• Even higher-caliber speakers throughout, plus additional speakers (total 13 speakers, vs. standard 10)
• Digital Sound Processing (DSP), with controls in the iDrive monitor
• Surround Sound simulation. Logic 7 incorporates an exciting Surround Sound process, as featured in Harman Kardon home A/V receivers. Exclusive to Harman International brands, this process generates a true 360° sound field and accurately reproduces the acoustic intent of the original studio master.
• 6-disc CD changer in dash. Retains a magazine for easy loading and unloading, as opposed to one-disc-at-a-time insertion/ejection of CDs.
iDrive: the new way to command a BMW
Contemporary automobiles - particularly luxury cars - pose an ever-growing challenge to their designers: how to accommodate the extensive functions that modern technology offers without overwhelming the driver and cluttering the driving environment with controls. iDrive is BMW’s solution.
By dividing the vehicle’s control environment into two areas - Driving and Comfort - iDrive separates those functions that pertain directly to vehicle operation from those that relate more to occupants’ comfort and well being.
The Driving Zone
As always in BMWs, all primary driving controls are clustered around the steering wheel. Similarly, functions that drivers and front passengers use often - basic climate and audio controls - are also in their customary places, and operate in familiar ways.
The “primary area” of iDrive, as it is that area most directly associated with driving. It is composed of the following elements:
Multi-function remote control.
The remote dispenses with the conventional key for insertion into the ignition switch. Instead, one inserts the remote itself into a slot. The remote includes all BMW’s familiar functions:
• “Car finder” (press “lock” when vehicle is locked to turn on the interior and exterior door lights)
• Trunk lid opening
• A choice of selective unlocking (driver’s door on first actuation, other locks on second) or unlocking the entire central locking system at once.
• Opening the windows and moon roof
• Coded Driveaway Protection, an electronic “rolling code” immobilizer system
• A long-life battery that charges anytime the remote is inserted in the ignition slot.
A small “reserve key” is carried inside each remote; its primary function is to lock the center-console compartment separately.
After inserting the remote into its slit, the driver actuates the button to start the engine and turn on the instrument lighting. One-touch starting, which allows the driver to start the engine with just a transitory touch of the button, is included. The button is also used to switch off the engine.
Electric transmission selector.
Located on the steering column, the mode selector on the steering-wheel face, and the shift buttons near the steering-wheel rim.
Other steering-column stalks.
The other steering-column stalks (there are four in all) operate electrically rather than mechanically.
Main instruments with LCD displays.
In a combination of BMW tradition and iDrive future, the entire instrument cluster - including the dial faces - is utilized for the many warnings, indicators and displays of that help keep the 7 Series driver of what’s going on with the vehicle and environment.
Illumination of the cluster, present day and night, automatically adjusts to ambient light levels (transmissive at night, reflective in daylight). The tachometer’s warning field varies according to engine temperature, indicating a low rpm limit when the engine is cold and increasing the limit as the engine warms up.
Electromechanical parking brake and Automatic Hold.
Described earlier, these innovations are also part of the iDrive system’s Driving area.
Programmable cruise control.
With the vehicle stationary, the driver can pre-program up to six desired speeds, corresponding to various speed limits or driving preferences, and then retrieve them at any time by pushing the stalk forward or pulling it rearward past a detent.
Active Cruise Control.
This option, described under options, is also part of the iDrive system.
The Comfort Zone
This extensive set of functions, or “secondary zone,” is positioned centrally in the front occupant compartment. Though characterized as the Comfort Zone, actually it encompasses a wide range of comfort, convenience, and informational features and also presents users with some interesting and highly useful choices in how features and functions operate.
Here, BMW has applied the proven concept of the Navigation System that has long been available in various BMW models: a color monitor with menus, and a controller. The main conceptual differences here are that more functions than ever are controlled in this manner, and that the controller is in a central position between the front seats. A further refinement is that the controller incorporates force feedback: According to the functions it is currently controlling, it communicates to the user an appropriate tactile feedback. The controller is equally accessible to the driver and front passenger, and is finished in elegant satin aluminum.
The menus: eight 'compass points'
Each time the remote is inserted into the ignition lock, the monitor displays its start menu. This shows the eight directions in which the controller can be moved to select the control menus, and the names of these menus appear in the border of the monitor screen.
Beginning at “north” (top) and proceeding in steps of 90° around the monitor, the primary menus and their basic functions are:
Communication - memory dialing, display of missed calls and other functions.
GPS Navigation - simplified route instructions appearing in the tachometer face. Full displays and instructions appear in the color monitor.
Entertainment - In addition to basic audio controls on the dash, extensive audio functions are available on the screen: FM/AM/CD selection, radio tuning and presets, tone, and Digital Sound Processing are among these.
Climate - Frequently used climate controls are permanently located at dash center; less commonly used settings are here. One may override the automatic airflow settings, for example; airflow and temperature scales are depicted graphically. A unique feature here is the ability to vary relative heating levels of the heated front seats’ cushions and backrests; the heating levels are also shown graphically.
The secondary menus are at diagonal compass positions. Beginning with “northwest” (top left), these are:
Car Data. This section consists of -
• Onboard Computer - with functions including ETA, distance, range, two fuel-economy averages, two speed averages, speed limit and stopwatch.
• Service/Check - 30 service items; click on each one to get mileage remaining to required service.
Help. Explains monitor functions with short texts. The help screen appears in a split screen with main screens; the user puts the curser on a function on the main screen, and sees it explained on the adjacent help screen.
Units of display - choices like mpg, liters/100 km or km/liter; 12- or 24-hour clock; °F or °C; etc. - and the language in which displays read. English, French, and Spanish are offered in U.S. models.
This is also the screen where one can -
• Activate or de-activate DSC and DTC.
• Select the EDC Sport or Comfort settings.
• Select or de-select Automatic Hold.
• Select a Park Distance Control graphic that depicts in color on a vehicle plan view the fields that PDC (standard on the 760Li) monitors around the front and rear of the vehicle, and shows where actual obstacles are encountered by the sensors.
• Vehicle & Key Memory settings chosen by the driver, such as selective unlocking.
• Operate a number of other features and functions. There’s even a soft button by which the user can program a desired function for a “blank” switch on the steering wheel.
These functions automatically become associated with which remote is currently inserted in the ignition switch (Key Memory).
The simplest screen of all, but a critically important one. Three soft buttons:
• Roadside Assistance. When selected, the vehicle’s actual location is shown on the monitor and an Activate button appears. Clicking on this connects the user with the BMW Roadside Assistance Center and transmits the location to the Center. Requires cellular service.
• Your BMW center. The selling BMW center programs this number into the vehicle as part of the pre-delivery preparation.
• Customer Relations. Connects the user with this corporate service.
In an emergency, the user need only press the SOS button above the windshield to be connected to the Roadside Assistance Center with urgent priority.
Other interior features: luxury, convenience and technology
Throughout the 760Li cabin, innovations and amenities abound:
Stepless door checks.
The door checks are hydraulic, and hold the door at any position to which the occupant opens it. They are effective with the vehicle pointing uphill up to 10°, or leaning to one side or the other up to 6°.
Soft-close doors are standard.
The user closes the door gently and an electric mechanism draws it fully in. Easier, quieter door closing; helps ensure perfect weathersealing.
More space inside.
The 760Li is slightly longer (1.8 in.), wider (1.6 in.) and taller (1.4 in.) than its predecessor, but its wheelbase is a substantial 2.3 in. longer. These gains in vehicle size translate to 0.9 in. greater shoulder room in the front compartment and 0.6 in. greater rear head room.
Inside and outside mirrors dim to reduce glare from the headlights of following vehicles.
Multifaceted console compartment.
Located between the front seats, with dual lockable lids. The compartment is climate-controlled and illuminated; it holds the phone handset, a coinholder and the trunk-release lockout.
Sophisticated power-window feature.
As each window approaches fully closed or open, it slows gradually. This reduces any noise at these points.
Automatic climate control.
In its range of functions, the climate-control system is uncommonly comprehensive, including -
• Left/right temperature controls
• Left/right automatic airflow volume and distribution
• User override of airflow volume and distribution
• Activated-charcoal microfilter
• Automatic recirculation control (2 gas sensors)
• Solar sensor for front compartment
• Temperature-controlled rear air outlets, left/right controllable
• Air outlets in the B-pillars (for rear passengers, airflow adjustable)
• Heat at Rest function
• Automatic ventilation system
• Preferred override settings for individual users via Key Memory.
Basic climate controls, for normal (predominantly automatic) operation, are positioned conveniently at the instrument panel’s center. For overriding automatic airflow distribution, adjusting temperature and flow of air from the dash vents, and other functions, one selects CLIMATE on the monitor and adjusts with the controller.
Standard BMW Cellular Phone System.
Includes the following features:
• Tri-mode, dual-band phone with 1900-MHz CDMA/TDMA, 800 MHz CDMA/TDMA, or analog operation.
• Telecommander. This second phone keypad, in a convenient pull-out tray in the dash near the driver, lets the driver manually dial, send or end calls, and turn the phone system on or off - all more easily than with the handset in the center console. For safety, the console handset is inoperable when the vehicle is moving.
Voice Input System.
Via the hands-free microphone, voice input can be used to activate a number of phone, navigation and notepad functions. So that conversations can be held inside the vehicle without accidentally activating the phone or other systems, Voice Input must be enabled before each use by a control on the multi-function steering wheel.
Includes a remarkable range of amenities.
The trunk can carry four golfbags transversely. Innovative single-link tubular hinges do not intrude into the trunk space, and facilitate the automatic trunk opening and closing that are standard on the 760Li.
Safety engineering and features
When your point of departure is an automobile with a comprehensive, impressive range of safety engineering and features - the previous 7 Series - you do not need or expect a revolution in the safety aspect of the new models. Yet BMW undertook to make the new 7 even safer.
The driver’s and passenger’s front-impact airbags continue the Smart Airbag technology already found in all BMW models. Likewise, door-mounted front-seat side-impact airbags, which have proved themselves in BMWs since the 1997 model year, continue.
Active Knee Protection.
A dedicated airbag ahead of the padded surfaces meets the occupants’ knees in a frontal impact. Benefits include these:
• Reduces the amount of space occupied by the knee protection, leaving room for features customers value.
• Increases the knee protection’s effectiveness.
• For belted occupants, allows finer “tuning” of the safety belts and front airbags.
Head Protection System, front and rear.
BMW’s front HPS, with an Inflatable Tubular Structure (ITS) deploying from the A-pillar and roof to protect the driver’s and front passenger’s heads, has been heralded by independent safety experts as highly effective - particularly in side impacts, but also in complex accident sequences as HPS remains effective for 7 seconds after inflation.
In June 1999, the International Brain Injury Association presented BMW with its Safe Car of the Millennium award for HPS. “As motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of brain injury worldwide,” explained the Association’s president, “BMW is to be applauded for their achievement in making automobiles safer.”
In the 7 Series BMW extends the unique HPS concept to rear-seat passengers. The combined front/rear system is called AHPS (Advanced Head Protection System) II.
Whereas the front HPS extends from the A-pillar to a point over the rear door, AHPS II extends all the way from the A-pillar to the C-pillar, with a “sail” connecting it to the roof structure between these two points. The sail is of airbag-type material; between it and the long ITS, essentially all of the body-side and side-window area likely to be impacted by an occupant’s head is covered. APHS II is not merely the addition of a rear HPS to the standard front one; instead it is an integrated system from front to rear.
Active Head Restraints, standard in the 760Li.
Via two impact sensors at the rear of the vehicle, a rear-end collision causes the front head restraints to pivot forward into close proximity with the occupants’ heads. If they prefer, occupants can adjust the restraints away from direct contact with their heads, yet gain optimum protection in rear impacts.
Automatic belt tensioners.
BMW was an “early adopter” of this technology, which automatically tensions safety belts in the event of a frontal collision. Standard on both front seats and the outboard rear seats in the 760Li.
Long a standard BMW feature on the front seats, this electronic logic recognizes whether or not a passenger seat is occupied and controls accordingly whether its belt tensioner and airbag are deployed in a frontal impact. As a standard 760Li feature, it also appears in the rear compartment and determines whether the tensioners there are to be deployed in a frontal collision.
Safety-belt force limiters.
These devices, which after the belt tensioner has deployed set an upper limit on the amount of force the belt can exert on an occupant, are standard equipment on the front safety belts.
ISIS, the Intelligent Safety and Information System.
ISIS is an evolution of BMW’s Integrated Deployment system, developed to further improve the restraint systems’ response to real-world accidents. To achieve this, ISIS employs fully 14 sensors. Together, these multiple sensors better tailor the action of restraint systems to impact characteristics, and help minimize unnecessary deployment of airbags. Much of the progress is due to faster, more powerful electronics and the use of fiber-optic cables that are not susceptible to extraneous electromagnetic disturbances. System software can be updated over the life of the vehicle; data useful to safety researchers can be retrieved from accident vehicles.
United States Options: a short but appealing list
With so many of the features that are optional in the two 745 models included in the 760Li’s standard equipment, the flagship model’s selection of options is naturally not so extensive. Here’s what is offered:
18-in. forged-alloy wheels. 18-in. wheels in a design exclusive to the 760Li (design #91) with V-rated all-season tires.
18-in. run-flat wheels and tires. 18-in. Multi-Spoke wheels (design #94) with run-flat rim design and run-flat all-season tires. The run-flat option requires that the Tire Pressure Monitor, below, also be ordered.
Tire Pressure Monitor. Monitors tire pressure directly, and alerts the driver to any significant loss of tire pressure.
Active Cruise Control. Expands the function of cruise control by giving it the ability to help the driver adjust speed and following distance to traffic conditions.
Employs a radar sensor in the front bumper; utilizing signals from this sensor, if one encounters slower vehicles ahead, the ACC system adjusts (within certain limits) the vehicle’s speed. If, for example, while cruising at the selected speed, the vehicle begins to approach a slower vehicle in the same lane ahead, ACC reduces the BMW’s speed to that of the vehicle ahead, and then maintains a certain distance between it and the vehicle ahead.
With ACC, the driver has a choice of the distance maintained to the vehicle ahead; there are four settings, indicated graphically in the speedometer-dial display. When the lane ahead is clear, ACC automatically returns the vehicle to the selected speed.
Rear climate control with coolbox. In this new and exclusive 760Li option, two amenities make life more luxurious for rear-seat passengers. The rear climate control, regulated by separate left/right controls in the rear ceiling, delivers cooled air via ducts in the C-pillars to left and right outlets.
Accessible when the center rear armrest is folded down, the coolbox offers space for two sizable bottles and some snacks or sweets. Although its source of cold air is shared with the rear climate control, it operates independently and is controlled by an on/off switch below the coolbox door; an LED indicator illuminates when it is in use. Full three-passenger seating is retained.
BMW Break-resistant Security Glass to hinder or prevent theft via breaking windows.
Rear-seat side-impact airbags. Like the standard-equipment front side-impact airbags, the rear ones are built into the doors. This rear side protection is offered as a special-order option so that customers may make the conscious decision to have it or not. Vehicles so equipped come from the factory with the door airbags de-activated but the entire HPS activated.
Cassette player in place of standard in-dash single-disc CD player. Offered as a no-extra-cost option for customers who want to be able to play cassettes.
As the crown to the new 7 Series’ second model year, the 760Li is truly the ultimate in performance-luxury automobiles. It was created to enhance the experience of owning and driving what was already the world’s most advanced concept in motor vehicles; for the fortunate few who will acquire it, the 760Li will surely be one of life’s finest rewards.
Maintenance included, now for a full four years
Like all 2003 BMW models, the 760Li comes standard with BMW’s 4-year/50,000-mile Limited Warranty, Roadside Assistance for the same period, and BMW’s Full Maintenance Program - newly upgraded to for 4 years or 50,000 miles. This reassuring package of product backing and customer service makes every BMW model even more appealing from a cost standpoint than its value-oriented base price would indicate.
BMW Assist: expanded services for ’03
Through model year 2002, BMW Assist services were available to BMW customers using vehicles equipped with the Onboard Navigation System and BMW Cellular Phone System, both standard in the 7 Series. Customers received BMW Assist services for 3 years from the original vehicle in-service date, and paid the airtime charges via their own service provider.
For 2003, BMW enhances this program with the addition of Concierge Services, and includes the initial year of BMW Assist services. The BMW Assist services include:
Automatic collision notification.
In the event of airbag deployment, the in-vehicle hardware will automatically transmit the location and relevant information to the BMW Assist Response Center. A qualified representative will try to contact the driver, and will coordinate dispatch of police, fire and/or medical emergency services to the location, even if unable to communicate with the driver.
Vehicle occupants may also request police, fire and/or emergency medical services by pressing the SOS button in the overhead console. The hardware will then transmit the location and relevant vehicle information to the Response Center; a qualified representative will contact the occupants, coordinate dispatch, notify any emergency contacts on file, and link BMW Roadside Assistance as needed and requested.
If the driver needs assistance (events such as flat tire, out of fuel, etc.), he or she may activate the Roadside Assistance button on the BMW Assist screen in the iDrive monitor. The hardware will transmit the location and relevant vehicle information to the Response Center; a qualified representative will coordinate dispatch of assistance to the vehicle location.
Customer Relations/Your BMW center.
Users of 7 Series models can place a voice call to BMW Customer Relations or their preferred BMW center by selecting the appropriate button on the BMW Assist screen. The BMW center programs these numbers into the vehicle as part of the pre-delivery preparation.
New for 2003: Concierge Services.
Around the clock, BMW users can now call upon BMW for just about anything on their personal or business task list. From travel planning/trip routing to dining reservations, errand running to household services, shopping assistance and event tickets - one call to a toll-free number from any phone gets BMW owners help when they need it.
After the initial year’s BMW Assist services, the annual fee will be $199. This is a change from the previous offering, for which owner fees did not begin until the 4th year but which did not include the Concierge Services.
Performance with a conscience
BMW strives to produce its motor vehicles and other products with the utmost attention to environmental compatibility and protection. Integrated into the design and development of BMW automobiles are such criteria as resource efficiency and emission control in production; environmentally responsible selection of materials; recyclability during production and within the vehicle; elimination of CFCs and hazardous materials in production; and continuing research into environmentally friendly automotive power sources. Tangible results of these efforts include the recycling of bumper cladding into other vehicle.
The E65 760i will not be available in some parts of the world. No 760i in Australia. Another large market where this 'short' version will be absent from is the United States. Since 2/3 of all 7 series cars sold in the USA are the long wheel version, BMW NA does not import the short wheel version of the car with V12 since the days of the of the 1988 V12 7 series.
In Australia, the 760Li will be available as of May 2003 and will set you back AU$332,400. Standard features include dynamic headlamp beam control, high-grade leather finish to the instrument panel and special high gloss seasoned walnut wood trim with inlays extending to the backs of the front seats and the interior grab handles.
Also, a soft close automatic system for all doors, Alcantara roof lining, electric rear and side window privacy blinds, front ventilated and heated seats, active front seats and comfort rear seats, a Logic 7 Hi-Fi system with 13-loudspeakers, a rear video screen linked to a boot-mounted DVD player and a second cordless telephone handset conveniently located for the use of rear passengers.
A small number of optional comfort and personalization features are available such as a heated steering wheel, rear seat ventilation system incorporating heater elements, a separate rear air conditioning system and cool box, an in-dash mini-disc player and a choice of exclusive 19-inch or 18-inch light alloy wheel designs.
In the UK, where the 760i will be available, the prices will be set as follows: the 760i at £76,350 and the 760Li at £78,450. Expect both cars to be available as of January 2003. Standard interior equipment includes centre console, doors and dashboard all trimmed in Nasca leather. The dashboard also receives inlaid burr walnut trim. Alcantara roof lining has been added, as well as the before-mentioned illuminated V12 sill plate. Also standard are Electronic Damper Control (EDC-K), self-levelling suspension and Dynamic Drive.
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December 2nd, 2002
Look at the size of the brake rotors on this monster.