NEXT 7 SERIES: BMW is testing what will become the sixth generation of its flagship 7 Series. Image: Automedia
Wheels24's spy photographers have captured images of the sixth-generation BMW 7 series undergoing testing, revealilng what will become the automaker’s next flagship without irritating plastic panels hiding the true design of the car.
Its swirling black-and-white camoflage remains.
The new 7 Series will ride on a new platform bringing about a drastic design change from the outgoing version.
BMW is revolutionising the way it builds its cars in an effort to converge with increasing environmental consciousness and ever-tightening emissions regulations. This means lighter construction, less-thirsty engines and new Efficient-Dynamics technologies such as thermo-electric devices for its future cars.
Using construction techniques learned from its new i3 and i8 battery cars, the structure of the new Seven is likely to incorporate a mix of materials, with carbon-fibre materials, aluminium and steel. Expect light carbon-fibre panels throughout.
Standard engine options will likely include six, eight and 12-cylinder options, each with direct-injection and turbocharging. There have been reports that a V12 may not be included this time around but this seems unlikely given the popularity of past V12 units and the fuel-saving improvements coming in the future.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 BMW 7 Series (Spy)
The 7 Series will also see the introduction of a plug-in hybrid, possibly developed with technology borrowed from Toyota. For performance fans, expect a new M Performance model fitted with a twin-turbo V8. 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 myriad traffic warning systems and convenience features such as self-parking and even some autonomous driving capability. BMW has just announced a partnership with automotive technology supplier Continental to further develop its autonomous car technology, which should debut on its new 7 Series.
The new 7 Series should offer full wifi capability, downloadable apps and 3D maps with current traffic and weather updates - much of it with voice activation.
The new BMW 7 Series is expected to make its debut towards the end of 2015.