Launchpad The new BMW 7-series with its subtle updates offers a better driving experience. Ouseph Chacko has the details

BMW has given a mid-life facelift to the 7-series. Although not very obvious unless you take a very close look, there are quite a few cosmetic changes that have been carried out. If you look closely at the nose, you’ll see new detailing, new fog lamps, a more upright kidney grille and optional adaptive full-LED headlights. Move to the rear and you’ll see a thick chrome bar that runs across the bootlid.

In BMW’s defence, the 7-series has always been a strong contender in this class, and BMW has chosen not to mess with it too much in this facelift. What it has done, however, is subtly improve the car, concentrating on making the rear-seat experience better and throwing in some new equipment.

Slide into the rear seats and you’ll notice the most obvious of these changes – the front seats are smaller than before and therefore allow a better view forward for rear passengers. It’s a small but important improvement in a car that is primarily chauffeur-driven.

And, to further improve the rear-seat experience, BMW has added a lot more sound insulation, especially around the B and C pillars and the door sills, to further reduce in-cabin noise levels on the move.

BMW has also tweaked linkages and used hydraulic bearings on the hub carrier to isolate the cabin even further. And this 7 uses a new generation of run-flat tyres that offer better ride comfort.

Notable new equipment on the inside consists of the new digital display for the dials that changes colour as you change driving modes. It turns red when you shift to Sport and Sport+ modes and blue for the fuel-saving Eco Pro mode. There’s a new optional 10.25-inch LCD display for the iDrive system, and 3D navigation maps as well.

The car we will probably get here in India is the 730Ld diesel, which has been given a slight increase in power, and the petrol 740Li, which is 21 per cent more efficient than before, both mated to the fantastic eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The facelifted 7-series, which will hit Indian showrooms early next year, is a definite improvement over the old car, and the subtle updates to improve the chauffeur-driven experience will endear it to buyers even more.

Price Rs. 1 crore (est. ex-showroom)

L/W/H 5079/1902/1471mm

Wheelbase 3070mm

Ground clearance 152mm

Kerb weight 1995kg

Engine 6 cyls, in line, 2993cc, tri-turbo diesel

Power 375.5bhp at 4400rpm

Torque 75.4kgm at 2000rpm

Gearbox 8-speed auto

Top speed 250kph*

Suspension (f/r) Independent, double-joint spring strut/ independent, air suspension

Fuel tank 80 litres