2016 BMW 7-Series spy shots
So far it appears BMW is taking an evolutionary approach with the styling of its next 7-Series, code-named the G11, but being this early into the development means many elements will likely change.
In fact, the rear bumper and some of the body panels are borrowed from the current 7-Series.
The trunk lid looks to be different and up front the hood and grille appear to sit lower. The heavy camouflage gear around the C-pillar is also likely to be hiding a revised version of BMW’s signature Hofmeister kink.
While the exterior doesn’t depart dramatically from the look of the current model, the platform underpinning the car 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.
Using construction techniques learned from developing the new i3 and i8 electrified vehicles, the structure of the 2016 BMW 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 will likely include six-, eight- and twelve-cylinder options, all with direct-injection and turbocharging technologies. Though there have been reports that 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 BMW 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.
As for technology, expect a myriad of traffic warning systems and convenience features such as self parking and even some autonomous driving capability. BMW only recently announced a partnership with automotive technology supplier Continental to further develop its autonomous car technology, which should debut on its 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.