WOODCLIFF LAKE, New Jersey — BMW and Uber teamed up to offer free test-drives in the all-new 2016 BMW 7 Series models in select cities this past weekend, just ahead of their official launch at U.S. dealerships on October 24.
On Saturday, October 17, and Sunday, October 18, prospective 7 Series customers in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago were able to test-drive the revamped 7 Series on-demand through the Uber app.
Then, starting at noon on Monday, October 19, Uber users in those same cities had the chance to receive a complimentary ride from a BMW product specialist to the destination of their choice as they checked out the sixth-generation 7 Series as passengers.
As previously reported by Edmunds, Millennials — the most avid users of the Uber transportation service — frequently take advantage of car rentals as a means of test-driving vehicles before making a purchase. So it's not a stretch to think Uber could provide another alternative means of getting up close and personal with a new model.
On the other hand, those younger drivers may not be the prime market for BMW's flagship 7 Series, priced from $82,295, including a destination charge of $995.
Still, BMW is trying something new to attract attention and celebrate the U.S. kickoff of the redesigned model line.
"With our new 7 Series being the most innovative vehicle in its class, it's only fitting that we partnered with Uber to offer a unique and exciting way to experience our flagship model prior to retail launch," said Jason Chan, 6 and 7 Series product manager for BMW of North America, in a statement.
The 2016 BMW 7 Series is distinguished by a sleek new design, the extensive use of lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic structural elements, increased interior room and a host of comfort, convenience, safety and technology features.
Power comes from a 3.0-liter inline turbocharged six-cylinder engine that produces 320 horsepower or a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 rated at 445 hp. The standard transmission is an eight-speed automatic linked to the navigation system and controlled by paddle shifters.
There's also an all-wheel-drive 7 Series model and a plug-in hybrid, driven by a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine in combination with an electric motor, which BMW says has a range of up to 23 miles on battery power alone.
Edmunds says: BMW has come up with a unique way to showcase the redesigned 7 Series.