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New 7-series dashboard


Alfa Romeo Spider by Novitec - headline

When BMW launched the fourth generation of the 7-series in 2001, they intended to revolutionise a luxury car's operation. It seemed they really aimed at controlling the car by just one button via a menu structure. But customers, and most of all the press, did not welcome this approach. And, the idea wasn't something new. In contrast to computers, users have to pay attention to driving while a graphical interface's usage.

So it is in principle too detracting for a driver to control a vehicle's most frequently used functions this way. Although BMW considered this and offered some extra buttons, finally they went a bit too far; the solution appeared too annoying to many! The new Seven now has, depending on the number of ordered features, around 50 controls, some more than its predecessor had! And also the gear shift lever has moved from the steering column back to its old place, the center console.

The reason for this: It turned out that there were just a few who liked this! Most were displeased of the relocation. The same for the seat adjustment. While the previous model had the switches for that at the sides of the center console, they are now put back to the seats again. Regrading the dash, it seems as if they have been in a back-to-the-roots inebriation!

As it was in the old days with BMW cars, and on the Seven before the last one, the center console is now again angeled towards to the driver. Nonetheless, there is still a lot that was introduced on the old Seven. For example: The monitor next to the instru-
ments and - however it is now significantly enhanced: The iDrive controlling system. Nevertheless, the cockpit of the new model appears more substantial, especially in contrast to the S-class' fascia which is cleaner and has got some switches less.

But finally the Bimmer provides a more reasonable measure of innovations - necessary to cope with the number of features - and classic intuitive approaches. Together with some nice details, e.g. storage space for sunglasses or mobiles behind the wood trim, Munich have managed to design a respectably luxurious yet easy to use coning bridge, just as it is worthy a high-class car.



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