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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
We were impressed with its neutral balance, prodigious cornering grip, and strong brakes
Standard is BMW's Dynamic Driving Control, which allows the driver to adjust the suspension
The effect of opening wide the throttle is relentlessly linear acceleration
The 2009 BMW 7-Series is a big, relatively heavy vehicle, but thanks to a host of performance improvements, it handles like a much smaller sedan.
For the BMW 7-Series, 2009 marks the first year in quite some time that just a single engine is offered. Jalopnik reports that the sole powerplant is "a new twin-turbocharged, direct-injection 4.4-liter V-8 [that] manages 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the engine is very capable, and Car and Driver contends that they are "betting on a quickest-in-class 0-to-60-mph time in the high-four-second range." Motor Trend, meanwhile, raves about the "broad, robust torque band that stretches its peak 450 lb-ft of torque from 1800 to 4500 rpm," the end result being that "the effect of opening wide the throttle is relentlessly linear acceleration."
The single engine is mated to one transmission choice, which Motor Trend says is a "torque-converter six-speed automatic gearbox" that has been "massaged to be faster, smoother, and more economical." For those looking to shift for themselves, Automobile Magazine reports that "manual shifting can be accomplished once the joystick-style selector is tilted to the left." Furthermore, Car and Driver notes that "a new eight-speed will likely be added in a year or so," which should only serve to increase the 2009 BMW 7-Series' already potent performance.
Fuel economy on most large sedans isn't spectacular, but the 2009 BMW 7-Series isn't overly offensive. Although the EPA hasn't released any official numbers for the BMW 7-Series 2009 lineup, Car and Driver says that fuel economy should be improved "by three percent over that of the outgoing 750i/Li, rated at 15/23 mpg city/highway."
Overall performance on the BMW 7-Series continues to amaze, as a variety of innovations improve the BMW 7-Series' handling and ride quality. Automobile Magazine says that, "from behind the wheel, the 7-Series feels much smaller than it is," thanks to its "neutral balance, prodigious cornering grip, and strong brakes." Motor Trend observes that the latest BMW 7-Series 2009 "also introduces Driving Dynamics Control, which allows the driver to select among four progressively sportier programs that also integrate the three-mode shock-control system called Dynamic Damping Control." Automobile Magazine also reports that "new for 2009 is BMW's Integral Active Steering, which adds speed-sensitive rear-wheel steering and is included with the Sport package." The overall effect of all these dynamic improvements is that the 2009 BMW 7-Series handles more like a 3-Series, while still offering the ride comfort that discerning passengers demand. For those considering the BMW 7-Series in long-wheelbase form, Motor Trend points out that "the only difference between the standard and long-wheelbase sedans is a rear air-suspension system for the limo for even more comfort."
Despite its size, the 2009 BMW 7-Series delivers on BMW’s long-held promise of being the "Ultimate Driving Machine."