2019 BMW 7-series review – more talented than its image might portray - Engine and gearbox
The 7 is not as 'cool' as an SUV, but its recipe is one with lots of appeal, and is just better than a big luxo-SUV could ever be
Engine and gearbox
New for the updated 7 are a plug-in hybrid straight-six and petrol V8. The remainder of the engines are carried over, albeit with updates to meet WLTP regulations. The range kicks off with a pair of straight-six diesels – the 730d and 740d – that produce 262 and 335bhp respectively. Both are inherently smooth, efficient and tuneful, if lacking the outright brilliance of Merc’s own new in-line six diesels. A petrol-powered 740i is also available with 336bhp.
From here the range gets a little more complicated, with the new 745e plug-in hybrid coming up next on the pricing list. Here, the 7 combines a 282bhp turbocharged 3-litre in-line six petrol engine with an electric motor and battery pack. Total peak outputs are rated at 389bhp and 442lb ft of torque. This is not the first plug-in 7-series, but it is the first with a more laid-back and hushed six-cylinder engine, which is a marked improvement on the previous thrashy four-pot.
Next up is the 750i, which is fitted as standard with all-wheel drive, and is only available with a short-wheelbase body. This is very much so the driver’s choice of the range, with a wonderful baritone V8 burble providing a satisfying undertone to the silky and sophisticated progress the 7 makes. At 4.4-litres, the new twin-turbocharged unit is shared with the M850i and feels perhaps underrated for its 523bhp on-paper figure.
Finally, the M760Li tops the range, although as mentioned, the recent WLTP regulation changes have forced BMW to wipe off some bhp, reducing peak power from its previously headline-grabbing 601 to 577bhp. Like before, the V12 is only available in a long-wheelbase body, perhaps answering why the 750i isn’t.