The six-cylinder 7-series has been absent from our shores since 1992, when BMW gifted base U.S. Sevens with a DOHC V8. Think luxury cars should have a swingin' six and creamy power delivery? Rejoice! Your prayers have been answered.
The addition of six-cylinder power to BMW's U.S. range-topper (a six-powered Seven of one flavor or another has consistently been available in Europe) may seem like a nod to tradition, but it's occurring for a very practical reason: The engine in question is Munich's turbocharged, 3.0-liter, 315-hp unit, and compared with an equally powerful, naturally aspirated V-8, it offers a healthy bump in efficiency. Prospective 7-series owners and their remarkably healthy bank accounts will likely never know the difference, which is probably just as well.
Both the 740i and the long-wheelbase 740Li are scheduled to go on sale in the United States in spring. Thankfully, Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries has been out for years, so there's no waiting on a soundtrack. (Sisters of Brünnhilde! Transport our fallen heroes to Valhalla! Take with you the Pferdestärke porker, and bang the orchestra off the rev limiter!)