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2016 BMW 7-Series Spy Shots

 
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2016 BMW 7-Series spy shots

These are the latest spy shots of a prototype for the 2016 BMW 7-Series, the next generation of the German automaker’s flagship sedan due in late 2015 or early the following year. BMW is taking an evolutionary approach with the styling of its next 7-Series, code-named the G11, although the latest prototype does reveal a slightly sporty demeanor characterized by its low and wide front.

Other new details include the exhaust pipe exits for the 2016 7-Series as well as the latest take on BMW’s signature Hofmeister kink. Once again, both regular and long-wheelbase versions of the car are expected.

While the exterior doesn’t depart dramatically from the look of the current model, the platform underpinning the 2016 7-Series will be heavily updated. BMW is revolutionizing the way it builds its cars in an effort to converge with increasing environmental consciousness, as well as ever-tightening emissions regulations coming into action across the globe. This means lighter construction, more fuel-efficient engines and some never-before-seen EfficientDynamics technologies such as thermoelectric devices for its future cars.

Lightweight construction
Using construction techniques learned from developing the new i3 and i8 electrified vehicles, the structure of the 2016 7-Series is likely to incorporate a mix of materials, with carbon fiber used in addition to conventional aluminum and steel. Weight savings could total between 300 and 400 pounds over the current model, which weighs close to 4,400 pounds in some guises.

Expect to see lightweight carbon fiber panels used for the roof, hood, and trunk lid. The lighter weight should not only improve economy, but also the handling, braking performance and acceleration.

Standard powertrain options for the U.S. market will likely include six-, eight- and twelve-cylinder engines, all with direct-injection and turbocharging technologies. Though there have been reports a V-12 may not be included this time around, this is unlikely given the popularity of past V-12 models and the fuel-saving improvements coming in the future.

The 2016 7-Series will also see the introduction of a plug-in hybrid model, possibly developed with technology borrowed from Toyota. For performance fans, expect a new M Performance model fitted with a twin-turbocharged V-8. It appears the M Division isn’t interested in using a full-size sedan for one of its dedicated M cars--and rightly so.

Advanced technology
As for technology, expect a myriad of traffic warning systems and convenience features such as self parking and even some autonomous driving capability. BMW recently announced a partnership with supply firm Continental to further develop its autonomous car technology, which should debut on this 2016 7-Series.

You can also expect the latest in connectivity, which BMW has partnered with Harman to develop. The new 7-Series should offer full WiFi capability, downloadable apps, 3D maps with real-time traffic and weather updates, and increased voice activation. You can see a preview of some of BMW's current connectivity technology grouped under its ConnectDrive umbrella by clicking here.

Stay tuned for updates as development of the 2016 BMW 7-Series continues.

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