Does BMW now have a separate ‘Grille Division’ that operates in a different part of the factory? One can only guess. Welcome to the updated BMW 7-Series. And welcome also to the grille bolted to the front of it.
We’re told this 7-Series makes a “clear statement of intent,” and you can’t really argue with that. The refreshed S-Class rival has—and this is a fact—a kidney grille that is 40% bigger than the old one. It’s also 50mm taller at the front than before, combined with new slimmer headlights to turn it into a sort of luxury battering ram.
Anyhoo. It’s a smidge longer in both standard and long-wheelbase trims than before, though no taller or wider overall. There are new air deflectors, some chrome, something called ‘air breathers’ sculpted into the sides, and a rear featuring design cues from the front.
And in the front, you can choose from the range-topping M760Li xDrive, which is a four-wheel-drive, 6.6-liter V12-engined monster kicking out 580hp (0-100kph in 3.8sec), or a 750i xDrive in both standard and long-wheelbase versions. This car features a ‘newly developed V8,’ still of 4.4-liter capacity, but with 526hp. It’ll do 0-100kph in 4sec flat.
The six-cylinder cars come in hybrid form—a 745e/745Le with 390hp and a big battery promising 57.2km/L—or straight diesel. The latter comprises three 3.0-liter in-line-six options: one with 395hp (750d), one with 316hp (740d), or one with 260hp (730d). All cars get BMW’s latest gen eight-speed automatic gearbox.
As expected, you get adaptive damping and air suspension as standard (with the option to select active steering), and much assistance, some standard (parking, reversing), some optional (steering, traffic, lane keeping, and so on). There’s a 12.3-inch high-res display in front of the driver, and a 10.25-inch display across the center.
There’s a new steering wheel. Rear-seat entertainment. Optional laser lights. 3D rear lights. Extra-thick side windows and sound deadening at the rear for better silence inside. New paint finishes. And did we mention the grille?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.