The flagship sedan of the BMW fleet gets a portable phone that operates in either digital or analog mode as a new standard feature and run-flat tires as a no-cost option. Last year, the run-flat tires were available only on the light-armored Protection Line models of the 740iL and 750iL. BMW says the tires can run up to 300 miles at 50 mph without air.
Protection Line sedans come with Aramide armoring (a fiber-reinforcing material) for the front footwells, doors, rear bulkhead, and wheel housings and roof, as well as bullet-resistant windows.
The rear-drive 7 Series comes in two sizes: The 740i is 196 inches long on a 115.4-inch wheelbase, and the 740iL and 750iL are 202 inches long on a 121-inch wheelbase. The extra length shows up in the larger rear doors on the 740iL and 750iL.
Eagle-eye BMW watchers will notice that the side sills and lower bumper surfaces are body-color instead of matte black on the 2001 models, and the turn-signal lenses are clear instead of amber.
The 740i has enough space in the rear seat for taller passengers to sit comfortably, and the longer 740iL and 750iL models have limousinelike rear-seat accommodations and longer doors for easier entry and exit. Standard features include a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, headlight washers, a navigation system, premium sound system with a six-CD changer and automatic climate control.
Under the Hood
A 4.4-liter V-8 engine with 282 horsepower is under the hood of the 740 models. The 750iL has a 5.4-liter V-12 with 326 hp. Both engines come with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment includes dual-stage front airbags, whose deployment force depends on crash severity and other factors, and side-impact airbags and the Head Protection System for the front seats. Head Protection for rear passengers is included with the optional rear side airbags.