BMW recently unveiled the all-new BMW 7 Series featuring extensive use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the structure of the passenger cell and the strategic application of lightweight design to reduce weight and increase both the overall torsion strength and bending stiffness of the passenger cell.
Other features include Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning system, Active Cruise Control with frontal Collision Warning System, Dynamic Damping Control and Driving Dynamic Control.
The BMW 7 Series lineup has a 190-pound weight reduction in comparison to its predecessor. Its composite construction features CFRP, ultra-high-tensile steels and aluminum. By using a hybrid construction of CFRP with ultra-high-tensile steels for structural elements, such as those found in the B-pillars, BMW states that it was able to adapt the design of the sheet-metal components to save weight.
BMW states that the Carbon Core body is based on technology transferred from BMW i car development. The 7 Series is the first-ever vehicle in which mass produced CFRP is used in combination with steel and aluminum. The CFRP roof frame is being built for the first time as a core-free, closed structural element, bringing both the extreme strength of the material as well as its weight advantage fully to bear. The use of high-tech CFRP and the production methods enhance the torsional stiffness of the passenger cell and lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity. The combination of ultra-high-tensile and hot-stamped steels in conjunction with CFRP for safety-related parts of the body benefits safety and driving dynamics, BMW states. During the paint process, the drying method and temperature management are adapted to the specific requirements of the new material mix.
The lightweight design concept also entails the use of aluminum for specific sections of the body and chassis. For the first time, doors and the trunk lid are made of aluminum.
The new version of the optional Parking Assistant allows for selecting and maneuvering not just into parallel parking spaces but now also into perpendicular parking spots. It controls the entire maneuver into the parking space, including all the necessary steering, gear-shifting, acceleration and braking operations. Active Park Distance Control also assists the driver during manual reversing maneuvers. If needed, this feature autonomously brakes the vehicle, helping prevent collisions with obstacles to the rear of the vehicle.
The optional Active Driving Assistant safety package has now been extended to include Rear Crossing Traffic warning, which uses data supplied by sensors at either side of the rear of the vehicle to assist drivers when backing out of parking spots in situations where there is poor visibility. Audible and visual alerts in the Central Information Display warn the driver. With the rearview camera, the extended view of the traffic situation behind the vehicle is shown in the Central Information Display. The Active Driving Assistant package also includes the Frontal Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with Light City braking function, Active Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Speed Limit Info. The Active Driving Assistant Plus package also includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and Front Crossing Traffic warning, Traffic Jam assistant and Active Lane keeping assistant with Side Collision protection. These functions use a stereo camera and front and side radar sensors to detect lane markings, preceding vehicles or approaching side or rear traffic. The various systems can also help prevent collisions with approaching side or rear traffic during a lane change.
Night driving safety can be enhanced with the standard Adaptive LED headlights for maximized high-beam usage and optional BMW Night Vision. The Night Vision system, which includes pedestrian and animal protection, relays a real-time image to the Central Information Display highlighting people, larger animals and other heat-radiating objects. The new generation of the Surround View system can now show not only a Top View mode but also a 3D View mode, as well as a Panorama View showing side traffic in front and behind the vehicle. The 3D View mode uses the Central Information Display to show the vehicle and its environment from various perspectives to aid safe maneuvering in confined, low-visibility situations.