Latest BMW 7 Series goes big on passenger entertainment 

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BMW has revealed its new 7 Series saloon, available with both traditional and electric powertrains. Befitting the marque’s flagship luxury model, the interior specification features the latest in materials and technology. Notably, the 7 Series is available with what BMW calls its Theatre Screen, a rear mounted 31.3in, 8K display replete with Amazon Fire TV combined with a Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system.

The Theatre Screen spreads out horizontally across virtually the full width of the interior and extends down from the headliner to the front seat backrests. It folds into the ceiling when not in use, and can be moved closer or further from the rear passengers to put it within arm’s reach for touch controls or to maneuver it to the preferred viewing distance.

As the Theatre Screen moves into position, the sunblinds for the side windows, rear window and panoramic glass sunroof are closed and the ambient lighting in the rear compartment is dimmed. The optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System includes up to 36 speakers, of which four are integrated into the headliner, and amplifier output of 1,965W. The system also has a 4D audio function generated using exciters in the front and rear seat backrests, said to give improved perception of bass frequencies.

Up front, the driver’s display consists of a 12.3in information display behind the steering wheel and a 14.9in control display in the center. Arranged beneath a shared glass surface, the displays are directed ergonomically toward the driver. BMW’s ‘Interaction Bar’ also makes its debut as a new kind of control/operation and design element. This functional unit, which sports a crystalline surface structure and backlighting, extends from below the trim strip across the full width of the instrument panel and well into the door panel trim. It houses touch-sensitive control panels for adjusting the ventilation and climate control, activating the hazard warning lights and opening the glove compartment. The light design of the BMW Interaction Bar takes its cues from the color world of the My Mode setting currently selected and can also be set as desired by the user.

Newly developed comfort seats are included as standard which BMW says offer wider seat surfaces than the outgoing model, as well as extensive electric adjustment, seat heating and lumbar support for the driver and front passenger. An ‘Executive Lounge’ option adds a reclining function for the rear seats with integrated leg rest for the space behind the front passenger seat, plus an optional quilted and heated armrest with glass insert and integrated smartphone tray for inductive charging. A torso angle of 42.5° can be achieved between the seat surface and backrest, which BMW states sets the benchmark in this segment.

The 7 Series comes as standard with Merino leather trim in a variety of color options, and the company’s latest Veganza synthetic leather is available as a no cost option. The seat materials can also be combined with cashmere wool trim.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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