When the latest generation of BMW's big 7 Series went on sale in the U.S. early this year, buyers had a choice of either the marvelous twin-turbocharged and direct-injected 400-hp 4.4-liter V8 or the supremely impressive twin-turbo, 535-hp V12. A hybrid version of the 7 also goes on sale here in a few months, still mated to the V8. Since day one, European drivers have also had a pair of six-cylinder options fueled by either gasoline or diesel. BMW still hasn't committed to a 7 Series diesel for the U.S., but today has confirmed will be getting the sweet gas-powered I-6.
The 740i and 740LI both come to the U.S. market in spring 2010 powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six. In 740 trim, the six cranks out 315 hp and 330 pound-feet, up a bit from the 300/300 ratings in the smaller 335i. The 740 engine does retain the direct injection and variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust. This new model also marks the U.S. debut of brake energy regeneration on a non-hybrid BMW. Interestingly, BMW has opted to retain the 7's 6-speed automatic transmission rather than upgrading to the new 8-speed found in the hybrid and the new 5 Series.