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.
The 2011 BMW 740i and 740Li Sedans – Six-Cylinder BMW Power Returns to the 7 Series in North America
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – December 16, 2009 2:00pm Eastern ... As an exciting example of its EfficientDynamics engineering philosophy, BMW announced the North American debut of the 7 Series with a twin-turbocharged inline-6 engine. Featuring BMW's award-winning inline-6 engine that produces V-8 power on six-cylinder fuel consumption, the new BMW 740i and BMW 740Li achieve a remarkable balance of power, efficiency, and sporty driving dynamics. Both models will go on sale in the United States as 2011 models in Spring 2010. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
In 1977, the original BMW 7 Series was launched exclusively with inline-6 propulsion. The United States first met the BMW 7 Series in the 1978 model year as the 733i Sedan. The 733i featured a 3.2-liter inline-6 engine rated at 197 horsepower. The 733i remained on sale in America until it was replaced in 1985 by the BMW 735i Sedan. The 735i, which featured an updated inline-6 engine producing 218 horsepower from 3.4 liters, enjoyed a production run that lasted through the end of the 1992 model year. The 735i was joined by the extended-wheelbase 735iL in May of 1988.
A keystone of BMW's EfficientDynamics philosophy is "virtual displacement," the notion that BMW's modern engines of smaller displacement can equal or exceed the outputs of traditional engines of larger displacement and more cylinders. This principle is already seen in the BMW 750i model, which features a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine performing at the level of BMW's previous-generation V12 engine. Virtual displacement provides the power of a larger engine with the fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions signature of a smaller engine. The 2011 BMW 740i and 740Li feature BMW's internationally acclaimed twin-turbocharged inline-6 engine with up-rated output of 315 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 330 lb-ft of torque from 1600-4500 rpm. All-aluminum construction, High Precision direct fuel injection, Double-VANOS variable camshaft technology, and Brake Energy Regeneration are a few of the technologies used under the BMW EfficientDynamics philosophy to place the 740i and 740Li among the most powerful six-cylinder luxury sedans in the world.
Delivering power to the rear wheels is BMW's 6-speed automatic transmission, well-known for fast, smooth gearshifts and an ability to intelligently adapt to the driver's style. Both models will be available with the full complement of well-known 7 Series options and packages, including the M Sport Package, Driver Assistance Package, Luxury Seating Packages, Rear Entertainment Package, and even the BMW Individual Composition Package.