BMW 740d driven

  • Averages 41mpg
  • Emissions cut, too
  • 740d from £58,250(est)
BMW's 7 Series gets a power boost and greener credentials with the company's latest 3.0-litre twin turbo diesel engine.

The flagship 7 Series will next month get BMW's new twin-turbo version of the 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine – and it threatens to obliterate anything the competition can offer.

The unit's numbers are impressive enough – 301bhp, 444lb ft of torque from just 1500rpm, almost 41mpg and CO2 emissions low enough to put the car in the 27% company car tax band – but these figures tell only a fraction of the story.

You should see how it goes. It's a flyer, and makes the car feel as though it's shed a couple of hundred kilos, too.

The trick is in the twin-turbo arrangement – a small one to aid punch at low-to-medium revs and a larger one to provide thrust when it's up and running. Together, they give the 740d fantastically linear responses.

Eight-speed automatic 'box coming, too
With so much torque it makes you wonder why BMW will go to the trouble of swapping the current six-speed automatic gearbox for an eight-speed version next year, until you realise this will allow even longer gearing, cutting fuel consumption and emissions even further.

The engine will be available in both standard and long-wheelbase models, and with either SE or the new M Sport trim.

M Sport introduces no suspension changes, since the car's interactive chassis control already lets you pick and choose the set-up, but it does give you the option of 20-inch alloy wheels to go with the revised body styling and trim. It might just be a bit too stiff-riding for some people this way, though.

Price from: £58,250 (est)
On sale: September
You'll like: How it flies
You won't: How it rides (maybe)

Our verdict
This is a diesel engine? You're kidding.

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