In James Bond films, cars and technology are characters right alongside Agent 007. In a case of life imitating art, BMW’s latest innovations seem right out of these iconic movies.
Introducing BMW’s latest 7-series, unveiled Wednesday, whose focus on electronics bring the dashing executive cars into the future with an extensive array of what the Wall Street Journal calls “electronic wizardry,” such as remote-control parking. This feature allows the driver to step out of the vehicle while it maneuvers itself into a tight parking space. Perhaps even more impressive, it can also circle a parking lot “looking” for an empty space before sliding itself into the closest available parking spot.
In this hyper-competitive market, where increasingly stringent emissions regulations are forcing carmakers to create lighter vehicles and to consider electronic and hybrid options, BMW’s focus on technology brings a coveted innovation that is less horsepower, more brainpower.
“We are responding to the digitization of modern mobility,” Chief Executive Harald Krüger said at the model’s launch on Wednesday, according to the WSJ. “This vehicle has everything that BMW currently has to offer.”
The 7-series, with prices starting at $117,000, boasts a body with carbon-fiber reinforced plastic to create a lightweight driving experience that elevates its fuel economy. Those for whom lower emissions are of utmost importance will appreciate the 740e, a plug-in hybrid version that adapts a twinned combustion engine and electric powertrain- originally developed for the i8 sports car. The 740e will be able to go up to 112 miles on just one gallon of gasoline.
Fuel economy and a great-looking design aside, it’s the Bond-like features that are creating the exciting chatter of car and tech enthusiasts. Besides the remote-control parking, anticipated in the 1997 Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies – the 7-series features massaging, reclining seats, a tablet, automatic air conditioning, a heads-up display that shows traffic warnings and phone calls, a steering and land control assistant, parking cameras, and a “gestures” feature.
Multiple sensors will be able to detect hand movements that are connected to specific features in the car, such as the music system, or to answer or reject a phone connected via Bluetooth technology.
For those who prefer to be chauffer-driven, the back seat reaches a new level of comfort, innovation, and high-end luxury.
In addition to spacious and ample leg room, there is a table between the rear seats that contains the “Touch Command System” – a removable seven-inch table, that passengers can use to control the radio or as a controller to play games and access the Internet.
This futuristic vehicle is in a class of its own, sure to leave drivers both “shaken” and “stirred” with excitement.