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Next 7: New BMW flagship spotted

2015-01-20 05:16

NEXT BMW FLAGSHIP: The sixth-generation 7 Series is due late 2015 or early in 2016. Image: Automedia

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - BMW is preparing to launch the next version of its flagship and Wheels24's spyguys captured images of a prototype that will become the sixth-generation 7 Series.

The images, taken in Sweden, reveal the true design of the vehicle without the irritating plastic panels obscuring its looks. The swirling black-and-white camouflage, however, is still there.

The exterior looks quite different to that of the current model and travels  on a new platform. BMW is revolutionising the way it builds cars in an effort to converge with increasing environmental consciousness, as well as ever-tightening emission regulations.

LIGHTER, MORE FUEL-EFFICIENT

That means lighter construction, fuel-efficient engines and new efficient-dynamics technologies such as thermoelectric devices for its future cars.

IMAGE GALLERY: 2016 BMW 7 Series

Using construction techniques learned from its new i3 and i8, the structure of the 2016 BMW 7 Series is likely to incorporate a mix of materials, with carbon-fibre trim in addition to conventional aluminium and steel. Expect to see light carbon-fibre panels for the roof, bonnet, and boot. The reduced weight should not only improve fuel economy but also handling, braking and acceleration.

TOYOTA TECH

Engines will likely include six, eight and 12-cylinder options, each with with direct-injection and turbocharging. There have been reports of no V12 in the sixth-generation; this is unlikely given the popularity of past V12 models and the fuel-saving improvements to come.

The 2016 BMW 7 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 seems the M Division isn’t interested in using a full-size sedan for one of its dedicated M cars - and rightly so.

AUTONOMOUS BMW?

As for technology, expect myriad traffic warning systems and convenience features such as self-parking and even autonomous driving. BMW has announced a partnership with automotive technology supplier Continental to further develop its autonomous car technology, which should debut on its 2016 Sevens.

You can also expect the latest in connectivity for which BMW has partnered with Harman to develop. The new 7 Series should offer full wi-fi capability, downloadable apps, 3D maps with real-time traffic and weather updates, and increased voice activation.

The sixth-generation 7 is due in late 2015 or early2016.

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