• 2020 BMW 7 Series

Refreshed with extra power, better interior tech, and a sharper style

LISTEN 14:17

The 2020 BMW 7 Series is the mid-cycle update of the sixth-generation sedan, first introduced for the 2016 model year. The facelift brings substantial upgrades inside and out, as well as revised engines under the hood. BMW also upgraded the vehicle’s technology package in order to bring it in line with competitors like the Audi A8 and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

On the outside, the 2020 7 Series stands out thanks to its much bigger kidney grille. The full-size sedan also features narrower headlamps, while the rear fascia boasts a continuous light strip that runs the entire width of the trunk lid. Under the hood, the 2020 7 Series comes with a new V-8 engine and a new hybrid drivetrain, among updates made for the remaining models.

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior Styling

  • Revamped exterior style keeps it feeling fresh
  • More aggressive M model fascia
  • Updated headlight housings are slimmer
  • Larger grille and reshaped intakes
  • Reshaped hood design
  • Active air flaps in the kidney grille
  • Wheel sizing between 18 and 20 inches in diameter
  • LED lighting front to back
  • Reshaped taillight housings
  • New trunk lid
  • Quad exhaust tips
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While most facelifts don't bring major changes on the outside, BMW actually bothered to make significant updates to the 7 Series' exterior.

It takes just a glance to notice that the sedan now sports a much larger kidney grille. The element is 40-percent larger than the old grille and it’s now framed by a single-piece surround. Inside the grille, BMW added adjustable vanes that open up only when the engine needs extra air for cooling.

The taller and wider grille is flanked by slimmer headlamps. Obviously, the thin lights make the grille seem even bigger. Not only skinnier, the new headlamps retain their dimensions toward the fenders, where the old lights became bigger. They’re fitted with adaptive LED technology as standard, but Laserlight tech is optional.

The engine hood was also revised, mostly to fit with the bigger grille and the thinner headlamps, but it also has slightly more contoured lines. The wide vent in the lower bumper is now smaller, mostly because the sides are covered by air deflectors. These improve aerodynamics and help reduce turbulence inside the wheel arches.

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The 7 Series' profile didn't change as much with the facelift, but there are a couple new element worth mentioning.

First up, the air outlets in the front fenders are slightly bigger than before, as are the trim elements around it. Second, the revised mirror caps are mounted on the window frame with thinner posts, a modification that’s supposed to improve aerodynamics as well.

Revisions to the rear fascia are milder and include only revised taillights and lower bumper. The taillights are 1.4 inches slimmer than before and the chrome strip that runs the entire length of the trunk lid is backed by a red light strip. The latter is only 0.2 inches thin and barely noticeable when the lights are turned off. This strip activates when the daytime running lights are switched on to create a discreet accent light around the chrome strip. The bumper carries over mostly unchanged, but the exhaust pipe ornaments are a bit bigger for a sportier look.

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The updated 7 Series retains the length and width of its predecessor, but the sedan is now two inches taller. Barely noticeable to be honest.

When it comes to color choices, BMW made several changes to the palette. Bernina Grey Amber Effect metallic, Royal Burgundy Red metallic and Donington Grey metallic replace Singapore Grey metallic, Jatoba Brown metallic and Magellen Grey metallic. Other color options include Carbon Black metallic, Black Sapphire metallic, Cashmere Silver metallic, Glacier Silver metallic, Imperial Blue metallic, Dark Graphite metallic, Mineral White metallic, and Arctic Grey metallic.

2020 BMW 7 Series
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You can also choose from four BMW Individual paint options, including the new Dravit Grey metallic, Tanzanite Blue II metallic, and Aventurin Red metallic. These replace the old Ruby Black metallic, Moonstone Metallic, and Almandine Brown metallic.

Wheel options are almost just as varied. The 745i and 745e trims ride on 18-inch wheels, while the 750i version comes standard with 19-inch rollers. The range-topping M760i sedan is fitted with larger, 20-inch rollers as standard. Both the 745i and 750i are available with a selection of 19- and 20-inch wheels, while the 745e is restricted to 19-inch options only.

2020 BMW 7 Series Interior Design

  • More or less the same interior design as before
  • Wide, horizontal lines throughout
  • High-end materials throughout
  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • 10-inch display screen on the dash
  • New three-spoke multifunction steering wheel design
  • New all-digital gauge cluster
  • Tech like gesture control, HUD, and Bluetooth support
  • Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay
2020 BMW 7 Series Interior
- image 815754

While the 7 Series’ revised exterior stands out from every angle, the interior is virtually the same as far as design and layout go. It features the same three-layer dashboard with wood trim in the center, a trapezoidal formation of A/C vents and a mirrored control panel lower in the enter stack. The big infotainment display sits in the same position at the top of the center.

There are couple of notable changes on the driver’s side.

First up, the steering wheel has new trim, with the chrome inserts on the horizontal spokes now extending into the lower spoke.

Second, the instrument cluster was updated to BMW’s latest design. The 12.3-inch unit now has the same design as in newer generation models like the BMW 8 Series, Z4, and X6, with the rev counter and speedo pushed onto the sides as vertically oriented arches.

2020 BMW 7 Series Interior
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The door panels and the seats look the same as well, but BMW made some changes to the trim and the upholstery. All models now come with Dakota leather as standard, and you can pick from five colors. If Dakota leather isn’t fancy enough for you, there’s a choice of Nappa leather (in six colors) or Nappa leather with extended quilting in Mocha and Cognac. You can things up a notch with the optional BMW Individual fine-grain Merino leather. Available in six colors, it includes extended quilting, and contrast stitching and piping.

There’s news in the veneer department as well.

BMW now offers exclusive veneer in American Oak Dark with metal inlay and Poplar Grain Metallic Grey in high-gloss.

The trim and the instrument panel’s chrome surrounds that border these wood inserts are made individually for each car to ensure that their dimensions match down to the millimeter. Cool!

2020 BMW 7 Series Interior
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Detailing and materials also change depending on which package you go for. The M Sport Package, for instance, adds a BMW Individual headliner in Anthracite, an M Sport leather steering wheel, M pedals, the M driver’s footrest, and illuminated M door sill plates. You can also combine the M Sport package with a special version of Nappa leather upholstery with extended appointments, such as black leather with a distinctive stitching pattern and M piping.

All the features above are standard in the M760i model, but you also get the Fineline Black fine wood interior trim strips with high-gloss metal effect, a digitally generated model badge in the instrument cluster, an insert in the center console in Piano Black, and illuminated door sill plates bearing the inscription “V12.”

2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 815728

The wireless charging, the new iDrive 7 operating system, and the ambient lighting with LED on the dashboard, upper door trim, map pockets on the front seat backs, and foot wells, come standard on every trim.

Like all recent Bimmers, the 7 Series comes with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.

This digital helper responds to the prompt "Hey BMW" and learns your routines and habits, as well as where to apply them. One of the cool things about this assistant is that it can replace the need to access the infotainment screen. It can explains how various technologies inside the car work, but you can also ask it for information like oil level, warning messages or how far can you drive before you need to refuel. For instance, the prompt "Hey BMW, I’m tired" will activate a vitality program that adjusts the lighting mood, music, and temperature in order to make you feel more alert.

2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 815725

You can ask it to take you home or to any other place that you navigate to frequently (office, parent’s house, school) or ask it to change the temperature inside the cabin. Another fun fact is that you can name it for greater individuality and easier communication. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to name my assistant Butch. Yo Butch, take me home!

Moving over to passenger comfort, the 7 Series' 126.4-inch wheelbase allows for 41.1 inches of front legroom and a whopping 44.4 inches of rear legroom.

If you have a driver, you’ll travel in style no matter how long the distance. If you sit in the back you’ll also benefit from BMW’s Rear Executive Lounge Seating package that adds two electrically adjustable seats with massage function, active seat ventilation, and even a rear-seat entertainment system.

2020 BMW 7 Series Interior
- image 815755

The latter includes two 10-inch full-HD displays complete with a Blu-ray player and enables access to the entertainment, navigation and online system of the vehicle from the rear seats.

BMW had nothing to say about the 7 Series trunk capacity, but it’s safe to assume that it carries over unchanged at 18.2 cubic feet. That’s 0.2 cubic feet more than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and 0.4 cubic feet more than the Audi A8. Marginal differences overall.

2020 BMW 7 Series Drivetrain And Performance

  • Mostly same engines as before
  • Bit more power, bit less gas used
  • Base model with turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder
  • Mid-grade with new twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8
  • Hybrid combines a turbo 3.0-liter ‘four with an electric motor
  • Range-topper with turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12
  • RWD as standard lower in the range, AWD optional
  • Eight-speed automatic carries over
2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 815744

Like the pre-facelift model, the 7 Series comes with a range of gasoline and diesel engines. In the U.S., BMW offers three gas mills and a hybrid drivetrain.

The base models carries over with the 740i name and the same turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six engine.

The unit features some upgrades though and now generates 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet. That’s an extra 13 horses but also a two-pound-foot deficit over the outgoing model. This sedan comes with a rear-wheel-drive setup as standard, but you can order it with xDrive AWD as well. The RWD model hits 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, while the all-wheel drive version needs 4.8 clicks. Top speed is rated at 130 mph.

Next up is the 750i, which also replaces an existing trim with the same name. However, unlike the 740i, the 750i features a new engine. Also a 4.4-liter V-8, just like its predecessor, this mill debuted in the 8 Series and was transferred to the 7 Series in the same setup. The twin-turbo unit delivers 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, an extra 80 horses and 74 pound-feet compared to the old model. The 750i is significantly quicker than the 740i, needing only 3.9 seconds to reach the 60-mph. Top speed is also higher at 155 mph.

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior
- image 815740

Moving over to the range-topping M760i, which also features M parts inside and out, it’s powered by BMW’s massive 6.6-liter V-12. Also a twin-turbo unit, just like in the old model, it cranks out 600 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. That’s a mild 23-horsepower increase over the old model, while torque remains unchanged. The M-inspired 7 Series is impressively quick to 60 mph, as it hits this benchmark in 3.6 seconds. It hits its top speed at the familiar 155-mph mark.

Finally, the 7 Series is available as a hybrid in 745e trim, which replaces the old 740e. Unlike the old model, which paired a 2.0-liter four-cylinder to an electric motor, the 745e features a 3.0-liter inline-six. The gasoline mill generates 280 horsepower, while the electric motor pumps out another 113 horses and 195 pound-feet.

Total system output is rated at 389 horsepower and 442 pound-f-et, a notable increase over the previous model, which came with 322 horses and 369 pound-feet on tap.

This model is also fitted with a lithium-ion battery under the rear seats and speeds up to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. No info on top speed and all-electric range yet.

2020 BMW 7 Series - U.S. lineup specifications
740i xDrive 750i xDrive M760i xDrive 745e xDrive
Engine type B58B30M1 N63B44T3 N74B66TU2 XB1151M1
Cylinders 6 8 12 6
Stroke 94.6 88.3 88.3 94.6
Bore 82 89 89 82
Displacement 2,998 4,395 6,592 2,998
Compression rate 11.0 10.5 10.0 11.0
Engine power 335 hp @ 5500-6500 rpm 523 hp @ 5500-6000 rpm 600 hp @ 5500-6500 rpm 389 hp @ 5000-6000 rpm
Engine torque 330 lb-ft @ 1500-5200 rpm 553 lb-ft @ 1800-4600 rpm 627 lb-ft @ 1550-5000 rpm 442 lb-ft @ 1500-3500
Transmission type Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic
0-60 mph 4.8 3.9 3.6 4.9
Top speed (with perf. tires) 130 (155) 130 (155) 155 130 (155)
2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 815812

The same engines are available in Europe as well, largely with the same specifications, but customers on the other side of the pond also have access to a couple of diesel drivetrains. BMW discontinued the 725d, so the 730d is now the base model. Powered by a 3.0-liter inline-six, just like its predecessor, it comes with the same 261 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. The sprint to 60 mph takes 6.1 seconds in the RWD version and 5.8 clicks with xDrive all-wheel drive.

The second diesel model available is the 740d. Also powered by a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six, it comes with a bit more power than the 730d. Specifically, it hits the ground with 315 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. That’s identical to the outgoing model. The sprint to 62 mph takes 5.3 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph.

2020 BMW 7 Series
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Strangely enough, BMW didn’t say a thing about the 750d trim. Up until the facelift, this model fitted with a quad-turbo inline-six mill provided a whopping 394 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of twist.

2020 BMW 7 Series Diesel lineup
BMW 730d xDrive BMW 740d xDrive
Engine In-line / 6 / 4 In-line / 6 / 4
Displacement 2993 2993
Stroke/bore mm 90.0 / 84.0 90.0 / 84.0
Compression ratio :1 16.5 16.5
Output 261 HP @ 4,000 RPM 315 HP @ 4,400 RPM
Torque 457 LB-FT @ 2,000 – 2,500 RPM 502 LB-FT @ 1,750 – 2,250 RPM
0 to 60 mph 5.8 seconds 5,3 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph 155 mph
All 7 Series models feature eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmissions, regardless of the engine and drive setup.

This gearbox is an improvement over the old model and features new control electrics, wider ratio spread, and new torsion dampers for improved shifting and acoustic comfort.

The hybrid model features the same eight-speed transmission, but with modifications made to incorporate the electric motor and a separating clutch that acts as a link to the engine. Despite the extra gear, this transmission is only a half-inch longer than the one in the non-hybrid models.

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior
- image 815769

The 7 Series is also equipped with BMW’s latest xDrive AWD system. It works in conjunction with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system and features an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch that distributes drive torque between the front and rear wheels depending on driving and road conditions. All cars feature AWD as standard except for the 740i and 730d.

BMW also offers an optional Integral Active Steering system that brings together the classic electromechanical steering of the front wheels with rear axle steering, like on full-fledged sports cars. This system enables a variable steering ratio that allows low-speed maneuvers with smaller driver inputs and improves direction stability at high speeds. It also reduces the turning circle at low speeds and improves steering accuracy at high speeds.

2020 BMW 7 Series Driving Assist Features

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior
- image 815739

The current 7 Series finally has what it takes to compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in the driver assistance department. The facelift carries over with the previous features, but adds some new technologies to become one of the segments leading vehicles.

The Active Driving Assistant package, now standard on the 7 Series, includes features like Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking Function (now also detecting cyclists), Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Collision Preparation, and Cross Traffic Alert.

If you want more autonomous or semi-autonomous features you can order the optional Driving Assistance Professional.

It adds Extended Traffic Jam Assistant for limited access highways, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision avoidance, Steering & Traffic Jam Assistant, Automatic Lane Change, and Evasion Assistant & Cross Traffic alert.

2020 BMW 7 Series Interior
- image 815752

Further help comes from the new head-up display, which project information onto the windscreen so you can assimilate it without having to look away from the road. It displays vehicle speed, speed limits, overtaking restrictions, warnings from assistance systems, plus phone and entertainment information.

The Night Vision system, optional just like the head-up display, now includes pedestrian and animal detection, as well as a marker light. A real-time video image on the infotainment displays shows persons, larger animals, and other heat-emitting objects, enabling you to avoid them with safe maneuvers.

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior
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If you need help with parking, the standard Parking Assistant Plus and rear-view camera will be there to assist. The former automatically selects and maneuvers the car into spaces that are either parallel or perpendicular to the road. The 7 Series is now able to identify suitable parking spots with the help of ultrasonic sensors. The Parking Assistant Plus can also be used to automatically drive the car out of parallel parking spaces.

Next up is Back-Up Assistant, a feature which BMW claims it’s unique in this segment.

The technology will help you exit parking spots or maneuver through them when space is limited and when you don't have a clear view, such as multi-story car parks or courtyards.

The Panorama View and 3D Top View comes in handy as well, as they depict a 360-degree image of the vehicle and its surroundings on the infotainment screen.

2020 BMW 7 Series Prices

2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 815812

U.S. pricing for the new 7 Series sedan starts from $86,450 for the entry-level 740i model. Opt for the 740i xDrive version and the sticker jumps to $89,450. The 750i xDrive costs $102,650, while the 745e xDrive comes in at $95,550. No word on pricing for the M760i model, but it should cost in excess of $150,000.

2020 BMW 7 Series Competition

Audi A8

2018 Audi A8 High Resolution Exterior
- image 722767

Audi’s player in the full-size sedan segment is the A8, which arrives to the party wearing a handsome exterior complete with sharp headlight housings, chromed trim, and a sizable Singleframe grille. The interior is both elegant and luxurious, with leather upholstery, wood trim, and exemplary fit and finish. Unlike the 7 Series, the A8 comes in one single trim, the 55 TFSI, in the U.S. Powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 with turbo power, it cranks out 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. A diesel engine is available in Europe. There are no V-8 or V-12 versions as of July 2019, which is a bit disappointing considering the competition. Pricing starts from $83,800.

Read our full story on the 2020 Audi A8

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 713866
Six- and eight-cylinder models sport three twin louvers and vertical strips with a high-gloss black finish grille.

Around since 2013, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a bit long in the tooth, but it still has what it takes to tackle the 7 Series. Actually, the S-Class introduced a wide array of innovations when it broke cover back in the day and the 7 Series and A8 came from behind to offer similar features. Updated in 2017 with new tech, a mild exterior facelift, and revised drivetrains, the S-Class is available is two non-AMG trims in the U.S. There’s the S450 with a 3.0-liter inline-six rated at 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet and the S560 with a 4.0-liter V-8 that generates 463 horses and 516 pound-feet of twist. Pricing for these models start from $91,250 and $101,350, respectively.

Read our full review of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz S-Class


2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior
- image 815743

While other brands cut their affordable four-door offerings down to the bare minimum, the high-end luxury segment continues on without much of a hiccup. As such, these top-shelf titans represent the very latest when it comes to infotainment technology, refinement, and opulence, and the 2020 BMW 7 Series is no different. Of course, that’s to be expected.

This facelift brings the 7 Series up to date, especially when compared to the much newer Audi A8. Its new tech package and options also enable it to better compete with the S-Class and even rise above in certain areas. The full-size Bimmer is also the better option when it comes to drivetrains. Not only it comes with three different gasoline options, but you can also buy it as a hybrid, a version that’s missing from Audi’s and Mercedes’ offerings.

  • Leave it
    • Optional equipment makes the 7 Series very expensive

More ‘Ring Testing Reveals Larger Kidney Grille — 7-18-2018

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior Spyshots
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2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior Spyshots
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The new 7 Series is getting closer to its big public reveal, but there’s still some testing to be done to make sure it has the proper performance required to match the badge. As such, the Bavarians are putting it through its paces at the Nürburgring, and our spy photographers were on the scene to document the progress. The latest reveals a larger set of kidney grille intakes up front, most likely fitted with active ducts that open and close to either cool the engine or keep it all more streamlined. There’s also a set of reshaped headlights, which also add to the visual heft up front. Complementing the update is a new hood design as well.

It’s believed this particular tester is the V-12 model, given the more aggressive aesthetic. Check out “Drivetrain And Performance” section for more info.

Testing on the ‘Ring and the Surrounding Area — 5-16-2018

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior Spyshots
- image 780663
2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior Spyshots
- image 780669

As you can see, not a lot has changed up front. However, the front fascia has been more refined and moved closer to production as evidenced by the cutouts around the air intakes and the larger air dam opening. It’s still rocking the official headlights and taillights, but this time around we see the official, chrome exhaust outlets integrated into the rear fascia. Finally, it’s also wearing that fresh chrome trim around the windows and on the side view mirrors. It’s slated to be a 2020 model, so we could see it camo free by the late months of 2018 or the first few months of 2019.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

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