Meet SA’s Car of the Year: The BMW 7 Series

The BMW 7 Series always introduces innovations and features that are later implemented on other brand models, and some become standard features in cars from other manufacturers. Looking at a brand-new 7 Series BMW is like having a glimpse of the automotive industry's future; the latest redesign is no exception. It’s no surprise it’s SA’s Car of the Year.

The development of the brand-new BMW 7 Series took about half a decade, and the German automaker's design departments from all regions were involved in the process. The meticulously redesigned seventh generation of the brand’s flagship sedan was globally introduced on April 20, 2022, to celebrate the product's 45th anniversary. Sales started in November, and the car was released as a 2023 model.

The new 7 Series features, flawless design, and ground-breaking technology impressed the distinguished judges of the South African Guild of Mobility, who awarded it the 2024 Car of the Year title.

BMW 7 Series exterior design

The new Series 7 lines are perhaps the car's least bold feature; the extended hood and massive front grille follow the actual design patterns of the luxury cars of this decade. It looks boxier than previous generations and follows BMW's latest and controversial design language.

The body is full of little details that scream luxury, like the front headlights with Swarovski crystals and full animated LED technology, the electrically driven doors that allow hand-free operation when needed, the illuminated front fascia, and other features that stress out that you are looking at the latest version of the BMW flagship sedan.

The M package and the i7 models look more aggressive and sportier. All trims are mounted on a new and enlarged CLAR II platform with an extended wheelbase, increasing the interior space and allowing more legroom for the passengers in the back seat.

Interior: A private cinema on wheels

The all-new BMW 7 Series offers dozens of options to give customers a superb customization experience. The base version, which starts at R 2 270 000, needs an extra investment of little less than R 100 000 in options to reach the equipment level that makes this car a real marvel. (Prices correct at time of publication.)

In the front, all trims are equipped with the Live Cockpit Plus, powered by the iDrive 8.5 operating system and its navigation controls located on the central console. This means that the instrument cluster and the tactile infotainment screen are embedded in the same curved display. Below, the colourful Interaction Bar helps to build the interior’s mood and includes touch-sensitive controls to operate the HVAC and other functions. The optional Panorama glass roof Sky Lounge can be illuminated in multiple colours matching the selected driving ambiance. The massaging front and rear seats contribute to creating a relaxed atmosphere, and the electric blinds are perfect for the rear passengers who want to get some rest during a long trip or enjoy some privacy.

The rear door panels include small touchscreen controls that allow the passengers to control the sunshades, automatic door settings, seat massagers, and other features. The screens are well integrated with the interior trim and the ambient lighting and don’t overwhelm the view.

The ultimate detail that makes the new 7 Series interior unique is the BMW Theatre Screen that, as its name suggests, turns the luxurious sedan into a rolling cinema. The system consists of a retractable 31.3-inch 8K wide screen that automatically deploys from the roof by pressing a button. The screen is not just an infotainment system; thanks to BMW’s cooperation with Amazon Fire TV and other streaming services, the rear passengers can enjoy their favourite movies and TV shows with 4-D cinema sound provided by the Bowers & Wilkins hi-fi audio system.

Trim levels and prices

For the South African market, the new BMW 7 Series is offered in four trim levels: the 740i, 740d xDrive, M760e xDrive, and the fully electric i7 xDrive 60.

The mild-hybrid petrol version, the 740i, features a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six engine coupled to a 48-volt electric motor capable of producing 280 kW and 540 Nm of torque. This engine drives the 2Ton car from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.4 seconds.

The 740d xDrive is a mild-hybrid diesel version powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine and the same 48-volt electric motor paired to the petrol model.

This engine has a maximum power of 220 kW and 670 Nm of torque, with a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration of 5.8 seconds.

The M760e xDrive brings extra power, enhanced suspension, “M” wheels, and a darkened front grill, among other sporty features. The engine is a PHEV (plug-in hybrid) with a combined power output of 420 kW and 800 Nm of torque. This model can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds, making it the fastest in the lineup.

The i7 xDrive 60 is powered by two electric motors with a combined power of 400 kW and 745 Nm of torque. BMW states it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 240 km/h, 10 km/h less than its hybrid counterparts.

The mild-hybrid and PHEV engines are coupled by a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox. All trims feature all-wheel-drive except the 740i, which only has rear-wheel traction.

Starting Prices updated to June 2024:

BMW 740i R2 270 000

BMW 740d xDrive R 2 401 385

BMW M760e xDrive R3 090 000

BMW i7 xDrive 60 R2 935 000


Imagry sourced from and

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