• Dec 25th 2008 at 8:30PM
  • 10

Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2009 BMW 7 Series

Buyers in the upper echelon of the luxury segment are increasingly demanding all-wheel traction on their rides, and BMW has evidently grown tired of seeing would-be customers flocking to rival automakers like Audi and Mercedes-Benz to get what they want. So for the first time in the model line's history, the new BMW 7 Series will be offered with all-wheel drive.

Engineers in Bavaria have reportedly worked hard to keep the 7's rear-drive dynamics intact, and have opted to fit the xDrive system with a 30:70 rearward bias instead of the 40:60 in other applications. xDrive-equipped 7s will also get a slightly higher ground clearance and Hill Decent Control, a system usually reserved for serious off-road vehicles. The option will be available on all versions of the 7 save the smallest diesels and gasoline engines that we don't get in North America anyway, fetching a €2500-2800 premium (in European markets) over conventional rear-drive versions. BMW is testing the 7 Series with xDrive in snow-draped locales before the option is offered in other markets starting at the Frankfurt Motor Show in October 2009, after which Quattros and 4Matics will be looking over their shoulders.

[Source: Automobilwoche and BMW Blog]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      When a 7xx can beat any Audi quattro up the ski hill I'll buy one. In the meantime I'll stick with an S8. With snow tires in the winter, thankyouverymuch.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Only hill decent control? You'd think for all that money, it'd have hill descent control.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The rear end styling looks like the old E32 7 series (1987–1995)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll be getting my LS460L AWD in a few weeks, with no need to wait until late 2009. Poor 7 drivers, stuck in snow now and then stuck at the shop later...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I knew this was coming. AWD is a luxury feature, and BMW knows this. Also, many wealthy people reside in the northeast, an area which gets a lot of snow. Its a shame the Jag XF didn't get AWD for Christmas today, seeing as how the 535, A6, E, GS, M, RL, and CTS all offer it.

      An interesting observation: If you consider (for a moment) the E46/E39/E38 era of BMW 3/5/7 to be generation one, the 3 was the only model to offer AWD. In generation two (E90/E60/E65), the 5 series added AWD. Finally, in this "third generation", the 7 also has AWD.
        • 6 Years Ago
        silly Subaru...AWD is for kids, not rabbits.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Always thought it peculiar that they didn't offer it on the 7.

      Well, all we're missing now with AWD would be Jag ... or Maserati.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It better have the ZF 8 speed automatic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        and the torque vectoring rear differential too.