Published on March 5th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW 7-Series 2019 Model Unveiled In Geneva
Gracefully sporting proportions and a progressive interpretation of luxury mark out the exterior design of the new BMW 7-Series. Its alluring bodywork reflects the supreme dynamics and exclusive comfort that shape the luxury sedan’s unmistakable driving experience. The latest edition of the 7-Series features neatly judged exterior flourishes, which underline its status and advanced technology even more intently. The design updates reach every area of the body and strengthen, above all, the confident presence with which the new BMW 7-Series sedan advertises its position as the brand’s flagship model. The far-reaching exterior redesign accentuates the cultured elegance of the BMW 7-Series and takes in the front apron, bonnet, headlights, front side panels, rear bumper trim and rear lights.
The BMW 7-Series will continue to be offered in two body variants. The longer version of the luxury sedan has a wheelbase extended by 14 centimetres over the standard car – to 3,210 millimetres – and gives rear-seat passengers the extra space to match. The standard 7-Series (5,120 mm) and its long-wheelbase twin (5,260 mm) are both 22 millimetres longer than their respective predecessors. The new model’s width (1,902 mm) and height (1,467 mm / long-wheelbase version: 1,479 mm) remain unchanged.
Taller front end, significantly larger BMW kidney grille
The extensive design refresh at the front end plays a particularly prominent role in giving the new BMW 7-Series its more powerful visual presence. Catching the eye most vividly is the significantly expanded surfacing at the front of the car, which now rises around 50 millimetres taller at its foremost point. The result is a verticality that projects the prestige and status of the luxury sedan.
New rear-end design with full-width light strip
The rear of the new BMW 7-Series also includes fresh injections of modernity, elegance and presence. Here, the design makeover has upped the dominance of horizontal lines, emphasising even more keenly the wide and powerful over-the-wheels stance of the sedan. Added to which, the lines in the outer sections of the rear apron adopt the design language used for the air intake trim in the front apron. The exhaust system’s tailpipes are edged in what are now wider chrome surrounds, split down the middle on the BMW M760Li xDrive V12 Excellence, and are integrated flush into the lower section of the rear apron. The tailpipe edging comes in High-gloss Chrome as standard, in Cerium Grey on the BMW M760Li xDrive and in Black Chrome on cars with extended BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line. Painted in body colour as standard, the bumper trim comes in High-gloss Chrome in cars with Design Pure Excellence specification and also encompasses the tailpipe edging. The M Sport package includes a strikingly sculpted rear apron with a diffuser inlay painted in Dark Shadow metallic
The three-dimensional rear lights of the new BMW 7-Series are around 35 millimetres slimmer than on the outgoing car and cut a sophisticated and precise figure. Their light sources are all-LED and are positioned behind red and black surfaces arranged to emphasise the L-shaped contour of the rear lights. Other new features include a sharply defined and very slim light strip (it measures just six millimetres in width) sited below the chrome bar, which extends across the full width of the tailgate and connects the rear lights with each other. The chrome bar comes in Dark Chrome when extended BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line is specified and Cerium Grey on the BMW M760Li xDrive. The light strip also creates a discreetly illuminated accent when the daytime driving lights are switched on and teams up with the L-shaped taillights to generate a characteristic and highly distinctive night design at the rear of the new BMW 7-Series when darkness falls.
New paint finishes and light-alloy wheels
The selection of exterior paint finishes available for the new BMW 7-Series comprises two non-metallic and eleven metallic finishes. The variants Bernina Grey amber effect metallic, Royal Burgundy Red brilliant effect metallic and Donington Grey metallic (the latter available exclusively in conjunction with the M Sport package) are new to the portfolio. Customers can also choose from four BMW Individual options, including the new shades Dravite Grey metallic and Tanzanite Blue metallic, and eight BMW Individual special paint finishes. These capture the imagination with the ultra-intense brilliance of the colour and feeling of depth, all of which provides a visually arresting showcase for the elegantly sporty exterior of the new BMW 7-Series.
Now available for the BMW 7-Series on cars fitted with the M Sport package is the optional extended BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line, which employs Dark Chrome for the BMW kidney grille, door opener inlays, exhaust tailpipe embellishers and rear light trim elements. In addition, the kidney grille bars are painted in High-gloss Black.
Depending on the model variant, the new BMW 7-Series comes as standard with 17-inch or 18-inch light-alloy wheels. Additional light-alloy wheels in 17-inch to 21-inch formats are included on the options list and in the Original BMW Accessories range. New to the line-up are 20-inch light-alloy wheels in multi-spoke and star-spoke design, and 21-inch light-alloy wheels in W-spoke design. The 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design – part of the M Sport package – are now painted in Orbit Grey. The M Sport package can optionally be combined with 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in star-spoke design, which are available in bi-colour Orbit Grey with polished finish and in Jet Black.
Interior and equipment
The more powerful presence and clear design idiom embodied by the exterior of the new BMW 7-Series are mirrored by a comprehensively enhanced interior design and a wealth of optimised equipment features. Generous levels of space, choice materials, harmoniously coordinated design details and exclusive workmanship combine to create a luxurious ambience that has been refined in every respect. Complementing the supreme performance and refinement of the powertrain and chassis technology, these attributes ensure that the new BMW 7-Series offers both driver and passengers an inspiring on-board experience moulded by a luxurious sense of wellbeing.
The progress associated with the new generation of this luxury sedan is reflected by advances such as the screen grouping formed by the instrument cluster and the Control Display, the extended functionality of its controls and further improvement of the infotainment systems. Trim strips, leather-covered surfaces and light sources make a greater contribution than ever to the exclusive flair of the new BMW 7-Series cabin. Optimised acoustic comfort also makes for an even more relaxing travel experience.
Expressive and harmonious: Exclusive Nappa leather and BMW Individual Merino full leather trim with extended quilting, new interior trim strips
The new BMW 7-Series comes as standard with Dakota leather upholstery, available in five different colours. A choice of six colour variants is offered for the optional Exclusive Nappa leather upholstery with extended appointments (standard for the BMW M760Li xDrive), while Exclusive Nappa leather with extended quilting is now available as a further option. The extensive, three-dimensional surface structure which is found on the front and rear seat cushions and backrests, the armrests integrated in the door trim and the centre console gives the interior an expressive and harmonious feel. In models equipped with the Executive Lounge or Executive Lounge rear console options, the high-quality quilting is also to be found on the rear centre armrest. The Exclusive Nappa leather trim with extended quilting is available in the colours Mocha and Cognac.
The BMW Individual fine-grain Merino full leather trim – which is available in six colours and features not only extended quilting but also contrast stitching and piping – uses materials of the very finest quality. The door shoulders, the upper part of the instrument panel and the lower part of the door linings are finished in fulled leather with this option.
The interior trim strips for the new BMW 7-Series inject the styling with yet more individual flair. New to the range are the particularly exclusive fine wood versions American Oak Dark with metal inlay and Poplar Grain Metallic Grey high-gloss. Both the trim strips and the instrument panel’s chrome surrounds that border them are made individually for each car to ensure that their dimensions match down to the millimetre. The new design features also extend to the boot of the new BMW 7-Series, where a stainless steel insert in the loading sill makes a stylish quality statement. This feature is standard equipment on all model variants with the exception of the plug-in hybrids.
Design Pure Excellence for the interior, M Sport package with special seat upholstery
The luxurious ambience of the new BMW 7-Series can be enhanced with an exclusive touch in the form of the Design Pure Excellence package for the interior. An Alcantara headliner, door sill plates in Fine Brushed Aluminium, precise decorative stitching in the lower section of the instrument panel, and fine wood inlays for the seatbelt outlet covers, armrest and roof grab handles in the rear bring an inviting and sophisticated aura to the interior. The Design Pure Excellence interior package for the new BMW 7-Series with long wheelbase also includes deep-pile floor mats for the rear compartment.
An ideal setting for an intensive driving experience is created by the interior design features specific to the M Sport package. These include the BMW Individual headliner in Anthracite, the M leather steering wheel, M pedals and the M driver’s footrest, as well as the comfort seats, the illuminated M door sill plates and the Fineline Black fine wood interior trim strips with high-gloss metal effect. In the new BMW 7-Series, customers have the option of combining the M Sport package with a special version of the Exclusive Nappa leather upholstery with extended appointments. This option comprises black leather with a distinctive stitching pattern and M piping.
The BMW M760Li xDrive also signals its outstanding performance potential with a bespoke interior design. In addition to the M leather steering wheel, the BMW Individual headliner in Anthracite, the M pedals, the M driver’s footrest and the comfort seats upholstered in Exclusive Nappa leather with extended appointments, this 12-cylinder model is equipped as standard with Fineline Black fine wood interior trim strips with high-gloss metal effect, a digitally generated model badge in the instrument cluster, an insert in the centre console in Piano Finish Black and illuminated door sill plates bearing the inscription “V12”. The new BMW M760Li xDrive V12 Excellence underlines its exclusive status with features such as Fineline high-gloss fine wood interior trim strips and a leather steering wheel with wood applications.
BMW EfficientLightweight and optimised aerodynamics
The body structure developed for the luxury sedans of the BMW 7-Series combines maximised occupant protection with optimised weight. This is made possible by a material mix of high-strength steels, aluminium and carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) that is unrivalled by any of its competitors. The Carbon Core used for the passenger cell makes a major contribution not only to the high level of safety, but also to the agile handling characteristics of the BMW 7-Series.
A significant role in the optimisation of the vehicle’s aerodynamic characteristics is played by the active air flap control system along with Air Curtains and Air Breathers. Air drag is also reduced by the cladding covering almost the entire underbody.
Enhanced acoustic comfort for an exclusive motoring experience
A series of judicious refinements have served to enhance the acoustic comfort aboard the new BMW 7-Series. The level of tyre noise reaching the rear compartment of the luxury sedans has been reduced effectively by the optimised shielding of the rear wheel arches. A further reduction in the interior noise level is attained through optimised sound insulation elements in the B-pillar area, the seatbelt outlet covers and the rear seat backrest. Laminated glass with an increased thickness of 5.1 millimetres is now used not only for the windscreen, but also for the side windows and rear window too. This new construction for the side and rear windows is standard for the BMW 750i xDrive, BMW 750Li xDrive and BMW M760Li xDrive models and is available for the other model variants as a component of the Rear Comfort Glass option.
The improved sound insulation is a significant factor in the superior level of motoring comfort provided by the new BMW 7-Series. The electric power windows of the luxury sedans also have new drive motors and control units which ensure precise power management, smooth movement and a consistent sound when the windows are lowered and raised. Another benefit of this newly improved system is the remarkable fluency of the transition stages at the beginning and end of window opening and closing. Optimised mounts for the diesel engines help to suppress vibrations on starting and during dynamic acceleration.
Steering wheel, wireless charging tray for smartphones and redesigned Ambient highlight in the rear
A chrome fascia element and a modified layout of the multifunction buttons are the defining features of the redesigned standard leather steering wheel in the new BMW 7-Series. The button array for the driver assistance systems on the left-hand spoke of the steering wheel has been reorganised. The button for activating the optional heating system for the steering wheel is now located below the steering wheel boss.
The new BMW 7-Series models are equipped as standard with a hands-free phone system including wireless charging. Previously situated under the centre console armrest, the tray for smartphones that support wireless charging is now positioned immediately in front of the cupholders. This means that the phone can always be seen by the driver while it is charging.
The ambient lighting option comprises LED lighting in the vicinity of the instrument panel, the door shoulders, the map pockets on the front seat backs, and in the footwells. Using the iDrive operating system menu, it is possible to choose from six lighting colours to adjust the indirect illumination to personal preference. Courtesy lights, illuminated bars on the door sill plates and the Welcome Light Carpet in the entrance/exit area are also included in the ambient lighting option. An even more sophisticated impression is created by the Ambient highlight feature in the B-pillars, which combines with the optional sun blinds for the rear side windows and rear window to create a particularly atmospheric lighting effect in the rear of the long-wheelbase versions of the new BMW 7-Series. When deactivated, the vertically arranged light sources now blend into the ambience of the luxury sedans even more harmoniously as a result of their high-quality smoked-glass look.
Passenger comfort in a class of its own: Executive Lounge, Touch Command, Rear-seat entertainment
Available exclusively for the long-wheelbase versions of the new BMW 7-Series, the Executive Lounge appointments for the rear are designed to maximise the feel-good factor and passenger comfort. In addition to four-zone automatic climate control, electrically adjustable comfort seats and a massage function in the rear, the equipment package also includes active seat ventilation for all seats, along with the options Executive Lounge Seating, Executive Lounge Rear Console and Rear-seat entertainment Experience including BMW Touch Command.
The Rear-seat entertainment system comprises two 10-inch full-HD displays complete with a Blu-ray player. The system allows users to access the entertainment, navigation and online functions of the vehicle from the rear seats. The viewing angle of the screens, which now have touchscreen functionality, can be adjusted in accordance with the rear seat passengers’ current seat position. Further improved hardware is the defining characteristic of the latest version of the BMW Touch Command unit. This removable tablet with a screen diagonal of seven inches can be used from any seat and even outside the vehicle. It lets the occupants operate comfort functions such as seat adjustment, interior lighting and climate control, as well as the infotainment, navigation and communication systems. It can also be used to play external audio and video files. The graphics and menu system of the BMW Touch Command tablet and the Rear-seat entertainment Experience displays are now aligned with the software features and functionality of BMW Operating System 7.0, which is also used for the all-digital displays of the instrument cluster and Control Display in the new BMW 7-Series to create an environment with a contemporary look and feel focused on the individual needs of the user.
Engines, transmission and BMW xDrive
The arrival of the new BMW 7-Series takes the driving pleasure experience in a luxury sedan to new heights. This is down in no small part to the array of innovations that have been incorporated into the car’s powertrain technology. The new BMW 7-Series is available with petrol and diesel engines using six, eight and twelve cylinders, as well as a plug-in hybrid drive system with a brand new design offering an increased electric range, enhanced performance and lower consumption. The eight-speed Steptronic transmission fitted as standard on all model variants has also undergone further improvement, as has the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system that can be combined not just with the petrol and diesel engines but with the hybrid drive too.
All the engines fitted in the new BMW 7-Series share a number of common denominators: an aluminium construction, optimised thermodynamics and the very latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The technology package for the petrol engines comprises twin-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control. The diesel power units, meanwhile, feature a turbocharging system with up to four turbochargers and common-rail direct injection. To minimise particulate emissions, both the newly developed V8 unit and the V12 under the bonnet of the new BMW M760Li xDrive are now equipped with a gasoline particulate filter. The system of emission control for the diesel models employs BMW BluePerformance technology including a particulate filter, an oxidation catalyst, a NOx adsorption catalyst and an SCR catalyst with AdBlue injection to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. Thus equipped, all model variants of the new BMW 7-Series meet the requirements of the Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard.
New V8 engine built for effortless sportiness
One of the biggest changes in the engine range for the new BMW 7-Series is the eight-cylinder unit fitted in the BMW 750i xDrive and BMW 750Li xDrive. After undergoing an extensive overhaul covering everything from the crankcase through to the engine management, the 4.4-litre V8 generates a maximum output of 390 kW/530 hp – a whole 60 kW/80 hp more than the engine it replaces – between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm. The 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of peak torque represents an increase of 100 Nm (74 lb-ft) and can be summoned up from 1,800 – 4,600 rpm. The engine’s standout features include the pair of twin-scroll turbochargers nestled in the 90-degree angle between the two banks of cylinders.
Once again, the V8 unit lays on some expressive acoustic accompaniment for its instantaneous and ceaseless power build-up. The new BMW 750i xDrive sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.0 seconds (BMW 750Li xDrive: 4.1 seconds). It returns combined fuel consumption figures of 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres (29.7 mpg imp) [9.6 – 9.5 l/100 km (29.4 – 29.7 mpg imp)] with CO2 emissions of 217 grams (218 grams) per kilometre. The flap-controlled M Sport exhaust system fitted as standard produces an exhilarating soundtrack to match the prodigious power delivery.
Plug-in hybrid drive system in the BMW 7-Series: now with six-cylinder in-line petrol engine and greater electric range
The plug-in hybrid variants in the new BMW 7-Series range take all of the luxury sedan’s sporty prowess, passenger comfort and feel-good ambience and combine them with exceptionally high efficiency and the ability to offer a virtually silent, all-electric driving experience with zero local emissions. The choice of models equipped with BMW eDrive technology now comprises the BMW 745e, the BMW 745Le and the BMW 745Le xDrive. The integration of a six-cylinder in-line engine into the plug-in hybrid system, a more advanced high-voltage battery, more power and torque, plus improved figures for electric range, consumption and CO2 emissions chart the progress that has been made compared with the outgoing models.
The plug-in hybrid models that will be available at the launch of the new BMW 7-Series in spring 2019 capture all of the luxury sedan’s essence even more effectively than before. Their newly developed drive technology consists of a specially adapted six-cylinder in-line petrol engine from the current BMW EfficientDynamics family of power units – whose maximum output of 210 kW/286 hp is delivered with characteristic smoothness and free-revving eagerness – an electric motor with a rated output of 83 kW/113 hp and a rated torque of 265 Nm (195 lb-ft), and a new lithium-ion battery with the latest battery cell technology and increased capacity. Enhancements have also been made to the power electronics, whose intelligent energy management ensures precisely orchestrated interaction between the two drive units and, if the proactive driving function is activated, efficiently coordinates the electric driving phases to coincide with sections of the journey that should be covered without any emissions. At the same time, the added dynamism from the electrical boost, which translates into even snappier response, is greater than before, as is the gain in efficiency produced by the assistance from the electric motor. With the Driving Experience Control switch set to SPORT mode, the drive duo can unleash a combined output of 290 kW/394 hp, while the maximum combined torque for the plug-in hybrid variants in the new BMW 7-Series is up to 600 Nm (442 lb-ft).
The new plug-in hybrid drive technology enables the BMW 745e, BMW 745Le and BMW 745Le xDrive models to record times of between 5.3 and 5.1 seconds for the 0 – 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint and achieve an electric range that varies between 50 and 58 kilometres (31 – 36 miles). The speed threshold in hybrid-mode has also jumped to 110 km/h (68 mph), allowing the pleasure of driving in a luxury sedan with zero local emissions to be now enjoyed far beyond the city limits too. The energy required for this is stored in a latest-generation lithium-ion battery located underneath the rear seats with an increased gross capacity of 12.0 kWh. The combined fuel consumption figures for the plug-in hybrid luxury sedans – which were calculated based on the new WLTP test cycle then converted back into NEDC-equivalent values – come in at between 2.6 and 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres (108.6 – 134.5 mpg imp). The CO2 emissions produced when burning fuel average 59 – 48 grams per kilometre. The BMW 745e, BMW 745Le and BMW 745Le xDrive have a combined electric power consumption of between 16.3 and 15.0 kWh per 100 kilometres.
Chassis technology and driving experience
An exceptional balance between sumptuous driving comfort and the dynamic flair for which BMW is renowned are the defining features of the driving experience on board the new BMW 7-Series. The construction of the chassis, the suspension and damping systems, the steering and the braking system are designed to facilitate both relaxed cruising undisturbed by inconsistencies in the road surface and a sporty, active driving style. The driver can use the Driving Experience Control switch buttons to select a set-up option to suit the situation – and configure that set-up individually in part. The set-up options cover the car’s drive functions and the manner in which its chassis systems go about their work. This allows the expansive potential of the chassis technology to be experienced in full. In ADAPTIVE mode, the overall set-up adapts automatically to the driving style and situation, responding to movements of the accelerator pedal and steering wheel, the position of the gear selector lever and data from the navigation system to instantly select the right set-up as the car moves from city driving to higher-speed roads, for example, or approaches a corner.
The design principle behind the double-wishbone front axle and five-link rear axle of the new 7-Series underpins its beautifully judged balance between dynamic performance and comfort. The separation of wheel location and damping ensures the steering remains uncorrupted by disruptive forces caused by road surface imperfections. And high cornering speeds can be achieved without impacting negatively on ride comfort. The rear suspension uses its dual elastic bearings and optimised elastokinematics to ensure precise wheel location and excellent directional stability. The large rear axle subframe mounting provides effective decoupling of the powertrain and suspension, which benefits acoustic comfort.
All variants of the new BMW 7-Series feature, as standard, adaptive suspension including electronically controlled dampers and two-axle air suspension with automatic self-levelling. Plus, the Driving Experience Control switch can be used to activate a range of damper settings to shift the emphasis of the driving experience further towards either comfort or sportiness. The suspension’s air supply is controlled individually for each wheel, making it possible to balance out an unevenly loaded car. Plus, the height of the body can be adjusted manually. For example, it can be raised by 20 millimetres at the touch of a button on bumpy road surfaces or steeply-angled ramps on the way into garages.
The optimised spring/damper tuning in the new BMW 7-Series provides a recipe for extremely dynamic handling properties combined with excellent ride comfort. Even greater compensation of body roll through keenly taken corners sharpens the sporting character of the luxury sedan. The set-up of the Electric Power Steering system has also been refined to elevate agility and handling precision to even greater heights. The improvements made to the car’s roll, steering and load-change characteristics allow the new BMW 7-Series to make even more accurate and agile progress.
Integral Active Steering increases comfort, agility and poise
The optional Integral Active Steering demonstrates its strengths in an array of different driving situations. The system brings together the electromechanical steering of the front wheels – complete with Servotronic speed-sensitive steering assistance and variable steering ratio – with a steering rear axle. The variable steering ratio allows BMW 7-Series drivers to execute low-speed manoeuvres with only small steering inputs and without having to change their grip on the steering wheel. At higher speeds, meanwhile, the car’s responses to movements of the wheel are less pronounced, improving both directional stability when driving in a straight line and precision on the way into corners.
By turning the rear wheels in either the same direction as or the opposite direction to the front ones, depending on the road speed, the system also makes the BMW 7-Series more nimble in city driving and increases its agility and tracking through corners. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, easing the car’s manoeuvrability and significantly reducing its turning circle. By contrast, at higher speeds, the rear wheels follow the same direction as the front wheels, allowing the car to follow the course set by the driver even more quickly and accurately. Both in corners and when overtaking or changing lanes, Integral Active Steering imbues the luxury sedan with impressive poise and comfort-maximising responses.
Executive Drive Pro with active roll stabilisation
The likewise optional Executive Drive Pro chassis system further hones the ride comfort and dynamic ability of the new BMW 7-Series. Available for all model variants aside from the BMW 745e, BMW 745Le and BMW 745Le xDrive, this active chassis control technology reduces rolling movements at the front and rear axle. The Executive Drive Pro system teams up with the two-axle air suspension and electronically controlled dampers to provide exceptional suspension and damping comfort and keep vibrations to a minimum. Active roll stabilisation uses electric swivel motors to ensure fast and precise compensation of the lateral forces generated in dynamically taken corners. This enhances the car’s agility and directional stability both on the way into and out of corners. The system also noticeably increases comfort when driving straight ahead by stabilising the relevant wheel. It is extremely effective in counteracting disruptive forces resulting from road surface imperfections on one side.
Executive Drive Pro also includes an anticipatory chassis control function. The advance information for regulating the combination of chassis systems is gleaned from driving style analysis readings, data from the navigation system and a stereo camera, and significantly increases ride comfort and active safety
Chassis technology for the BMW M760Li xDrive and plug-in hybrid models tuned to suit their specific profiles
The Executive Drive Pro system and Integral Active Steering are part of standard specification for the new BMW M760Li xDrive. The 12-cylinder model is also fitted as standard with 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design. They team up with mixed tyres in 245/40 R20 format at the front axle and 275/35 R20 at the rear. These bespoke performance tyres enhance sporty handling by transferring cornering forces to the road extremely effectively through dynamically taken corners. The new BMW M760Li xDrive can also be ordered as an option with runflat tyres and additional 20-inch light-alloy wheels from the BMW 7-Series options list.
Tuned even more keenly to deliver dynamic handling properties, the suspension of the new BMW 7-Series also factors in the plug-in hybrid models’ significantly greater drive power compared to their predecessors. As a result, the new BMW 745e, new BMW 745Le and new BMW 745Le xDrive have gained appreciably in agility, precision and directional stability.