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BMW Unveils New 7 Series at Munich Unveiling

The 2016 BMW Series 7 unveiled in Munich offers a look into new technology that will alter the German automaker's entire line.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

BMW offered a look into the future today here in Munich – not only for one vehicle, but for its entire line.

The German luxury automaker used its museum space at its global headquarters in Munich as a backdrop for the reveal of the BMW 2016 7 Series. With a backdrop of HD pyrotechnics and a live performance by London’s Urban Soul Orchestra, the modern, sophisticated atmosphere fit the new vehicle it was there to announce.

Slimmed down and marked by a new hint of extra sportiness, the 7 Series is adding entirely new BMW technologies next year — tech that will certainly wind its way down the model line to BMW’s other cars and SUVs.

The 7 Series is BMW’s top of the line luxury vehicle. It’s an immediate status symbol and a popular choice for limousine duty, especially in Europe. So, when the company assembles automotive journalists from all around the world in Munich for the reveal of the latest model, it’s a big deal for the company. The latest version doesn’t skimp on the new inclusions — making it a legitimately new offering.

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Starting with a first in the automotive industry, the 7 Series will include Gesture Control. The car comes with BMW’s latest iDrive version, adding the ability to control car volume and phone calls without touching a control. Brief hand gestures in open air handle those features. Obviously, that’s not a major suite of functionality, but it’s the first step toward broader use of gestures to control automobiles.

The car is built around the new Carbon Core Passenger Cell. The heart of the car’s frame will feature a unique blend of carbon, aluminum and steel to lessen weight, improving performance and fuel economy.

The 7 Series will also offer new self-driving abilities. In addition to active, adaptive cruise control, the car will pack a front crossing traffic warning and Active Lane Keeping Assistance. Traffic Jam Assistant will essentially drive the car for you in heavy traffic, pacing the car in front at up to 37 mph.

The car will also urge you to behave. If you’re exceeding the posted speed limit, the car will sense that violation using scanners and GPS and offer you the immediate option of slowing down to be nice and legal.

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All of those tech suites are new to the BMW luxury line, but the Bavarians threw in a few more. Buyers can include the largest Heads UP Display available in production cars, a seven inch Touch Command Tablet, Wireless Charging and an onboard WiFi Hotspot.

The 2016 7 Series will arrive in showrooms in autumn, 2015.