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Top car's makeover.

Byline: By Steve Hughes

No mid-life crisis for BMW's 7-Series luxury saloon, but a mid-life makeover this spring nonetheless.

Despite criticisms of its radical styling and controversial iDrive central control system the current car has become the best-selling 7-Series to date.

But soon it will be time for a revamp, with some subtle styling changes, a simpler iDrive system and a range of new engines. The improvements have forced the price to rise significantly, with a new entry price of pounds 47,500 for the 730d in comparison to pounds 45,950 for the current car.

The 730d is the best-selling model in the UK, accounting for more than half of all sales. The engine has been revised and gets an all-aluminium cylinder block that reduces the weight by 25kg. Power is increased by 12% to 228bhp and torque is 4% higher at 520Nm.

The petrol-powered 730i now uses the six-cylinder engine from the 5-series.

The 3.6-litre 735i is replaced by a four-litre 740i, which is faster, taking 6.8 seconds to reach 60mph, with just a minor effect on economy at 25mpg.

A new 4.8-litre V8-powered 750i replaces the current 745i with more power and better performance.

The car's chassis has also been updated to manage the additional performance, with the all-aluminium suspension updated and given a 14mm wider track.

Style-wise there is a new headlamp and bumper design, changes to the kidney grilles and a new power dome on the bonnet. The rear of the car has also been revised with modified tail lamps and bumper and a chrome strip,

The iDrive system has been subtly revised to make it more user-friendly.

All models now have xenon headlamps and a headlamp cleaning system and all models receive Brake Force Display, which is a two-stage brake light system. This warns drivers travelling behind that the 7-Series is making an emergency stop.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 4, 2005
Words:314
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