2011 BMW 7-Series Brings Inline-6 Back To U.S. With 315 HP

In 1994 BMW dropped all six-cylinder engines for the 7-series in favor of the V8/V12 power needed to haul their bloated-by-features luxobarges. Now, inline-six fans rejoice! The 2011 BMW 740i is back with an inline-six powerful enough to haul itself.

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BMW calls their philosophy of dropping cylinders "virtual displacement," as in, adding a pair of turbos is just as good as having two more naturally aspirated cylinders. With output of 315 HP at 5800 RPM and 330 lb-ft of torque from 1600-to-4500 RPM it's approximately as powerful as the outgoing 4.4-liter V8 but nowhere near as much fun as the twin-turbo 402 HP V8.


Available in both the 740 and longer wheel-base 740li, the return to six-cylinder power is a good move for BMW, which will be able to offer higher efficiency and reasonable power for customers who do not know, or care, how many cylinders their car has.

The 2011 BMW 740i and 740Li Sedans

As an exciting example of its EfficientDynamics engineering philosophy, BMW announced the North American debut of the 7 Series with a twin-turbocharged inline-6 engine. Featuring BMW's award-winning inline-6 engine that produces V-8 power on six-cylinder fuel consumption, the new BMW 740i and BMW 740Li achieve a remarkable balance of power, efficiency, and sporty driving dynamics. Both models will go on sale in the United States as 2011 models in Spring 2010. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
In 1977, the original BMW 7 Series was launched exclusively with inline-6 propulsion. The United States first met the BMW 7 Series in the 1978 model year as the 733i Sedan. The 733i featured a 3.2-liter inline-6 engine rated at 197 horsepower. The 733i remained on sale in America until it was replaced in 1985 by the BMW 735i Sedan. The 735i, which featured an updated inline-6 engine producing 218 horsepower from 3.4 liters, enjoyed a production run that lasted through the end of the 1992 model year. The 735i was joined by the extended-wheelbase 735iL in May of 1988.
A keystone of BMW's EfficientDynamics philosophy is "virtual displacement," the notion that BMW's modern engines of smaller displacement can equal or exceed the outputs of traditional engines of larger displacement and more cylinders. This principle is already seen in the BMW 750i model, which features a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine performing at the level of BMW's previous-generation V12 engine. Virtual displacement provides the power of a larger engine with the fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions signature of a smaller engine. The 2011 BMW 740i and 740Li feature BMW's internationally acclaimed twin-turbocharged inline-6 engine with up-rated output of 315 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 330 lb-ft of torque from 1600-4500 rpm. All-aluminum construction, High Precision direct fuel injection, Double-VANOS variable camshaft technology, and Brake Energy Regeneration are a few of the technologies used under the BMW EfficientDynamics philosophy to place the 740i and 740Li among the most powerful six-cylinder luxury sedans in the world. Delivering power to the rear wheels is BMW's 6-speed automatic transmission, well-known for fast, smooth gearshifts and an ability to intelligently adapt to the driver's style.
Both models will be available with the full complement of well-known 7 Series options and packages, including the M Sport Package, Driver Assistance Package, Luxury Seating Packages, Rear Entertainment Package, and even the BMW Individual Composition Package.