BMW touts computing power more than horsepower in new 7-series

Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:46pm EDT
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MUNICH (Reuters) - German luxury carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE: Quote) unveiled its new flagship sedan, the 7-series, touting the car's digital prowess more than the number of cylinders and repositioning the sportscar brand for an era of low emissions.

The sixth generation of the limousine features wireless inductive charging of mobile phones, touchscreen displays and a removable 7 inch tablet computer to control infotainment functions. Despite heavy electronics, the car is also lighter than its predecessor, making it more fuel efficient.

"With each generation of the 7 series we have brought our customers' needs to the road, adapting accordingly as time moved on," said Harald Krueger, who took the helm at BMW as chief executive last month.

"We are responding to the digitalization of modern mobility," Krueger said at the presentation in Munich on Wednesday.

BMW sold 48,480 7-series in 2014, less than half the 101,428 S-Class limousines sold by rival Mercedes-Benz but more than the 37,158 Audi A8 limousines sold that year, analysts at IHS automotive said.

IHS analyst Tim Urquhart said, "there is a big chance for BMW to close the gap in performance, comfort and reputational terms for its flagship sedan, as its fair to say the last car was slightly uninspired.”

The new car has software and sensors that help move it out of a parking space or garage all by itself, and can adjust automatically to speed limits.

A range of six and eight cylinder engines will be available when the car hits showrooms in October.

BMW has made use of carbon fiber materials as a way to steal the march on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. As a result, the car is 130 kilograms lighter than the previous model.   Continued...

The new BMW 7 series car is pictured during the world premiere at the company's headquarters in Munich, Germany, June 10, 2015.  REUTERS/Michael Dalder   -