The new BMW 7 Series: where are the design leaps and real innovations?

The new 7 Series does without the big design leap. Photo credit: bimmertoday.de

Actually, the new seven at the IAA should see the light of the public for the first time in September. The printing of many Erlkönig photos and the successful Mercedes S-Class then prompted BMW to statically pull the cloth off the new model in the BMW Welt in Munich on June 10th.

The fact that the photos have now reached the public earlier is probably due to a communication accident. BMW Austria obviously accidentally clicked on “publish” too early. about Bimmertoday.de (probably the best-informed BMW Insider website), the pictures and information were then brought into the world via numerous online portals.

If you look closely at the information that sounds like the official brochure text, the new 7 Series could be a disappointment for many. If the official launch in autumn doesn't do any more, the big leap into the future expected by BMW fans has turned into a fairly small jump. Especially disappointing for those who remember the really innovative study "Vision Future Luxury", in which everyone should recognize the future sevens. Then why did BMW deviate from it? This study would have dressed the new seven perfectly. Somebody slowed the leap into the future.

When it came to design, the controversial but very successful Bangle-XNUMX was brave by light years. By the way: Although Bangle was responsible for it, it was shaped by today's chief designer Adrian van Hoydonk.

Is this sore point still in the bones of the decision-makers at BMW? It's a shame that BMW has visibly abandoned design courage - at least with the new seven.

If you take a cursory look, it could be perceived as a better facelift. Certainly this is badly exaggerated, but I wouldn't be surprised if the new seventh doesn't attract much attention on the road. If you saw the camouflaged vehicles driving around in Munich, you could already see that it was a seventh. It was already evident that this is not a car from the future. What is and must be the golden rule for a VW Golf, namely not making any major design changes, actually deserves an “unsatisfactory” rating for a design brand that BMW undoubtedly wants to be and still is. BMW had to study the design Vision Future Luxury made curious about the future sevens. Unfortunately, the jump from the study to reality is sobering.

I don't understand how the otherwise critical editorial staff of auto motor und sport can cheer that the 130 kilos saved, gesture control, autonomous garage parking and predictive adaptive chassis control should be a "heavy chunk" for the competition. Competitors have already “taken off” such systems on the market and in some cases even more weight.

ams rightly recalls the iDrive system, which was initially criticized in the 1994s, and which was then adapted by competitors. Yes, these were still leaps in innovation, which were also polarizing, but were just as impressive as the world's first navigation system in a BMW seven in XNUMX. At that time, the driver of innovation, Wolfgang Reitzle, was head of development at BMW, a visionary who sometimes overshot feasible goals, but never lost sight of it and eventually implemented it. He not only drove his team crazy with his idea of ​​progress, but in the end the result was fundamentally innovative.

If the future sevens can park alone in a tight parking space between two vehicles or in a tight garage, this is just as little a unique selling point as the touchscreen or gesture control. The "multifunctional instrument display" is miles away from a "virtual cockpit" in an Audi. “Courage to innovate - you certainly can't deny that to BMW,” ams flatters. For the future seven.

This also shows the problem of a strong brand: customers and media representatives are spoiled. Also from BMW. With a brand like Dacia, you wouldn't expect to see sensational features in a new model. What would be sensational for one brand is the mandatory program at BMW, but not the expected and necessary freestyle.

Even if the sevens were full of technological innovations with a unique selling point: the design of the outer skin should convey this at first glance, make the technology and a large piece of the future perceptible. Unfortunately, this is not the case. You will definitely find that out quickly at BMW - and will soon have to do a facelift.

The internal discussion has already started.

The new 7 Series does without the big design leap. Photo credit: bimmertoday.de

The new 7 Series does without the big design leap. Photo credit: bimmertoday.de

Peter Groschupf

 

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