The next 7 has been fully exposed.
Low resolution spy shots taken in what appears to be a storage facility have given us the best look yet at the 2016 BMW 7 Series.
The pictures confirm that the next 7 gets a more muscular appearance that falls in line with BMW's latest design language. The front end features elongated headlights that extend to the edge of the twin kidney grilles, while the rear end is equipped with tail lamps inspired by the units found on a number of BMW cars including the 3 Series and the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Overall, the next 7 appears to be more of a careful evolution of the current model than a revolution.
The next-generation 7 Series will take advantage of the manufacturing techniques learned through BMW's i3 and i8 programs, meaning that it will be the first regular-production BMW to use carbon fiber in its construction. It's too early to tell just how much weight the 7 Series' carbon fiber construction will save, but it should be enough to put the car on equal ground with the aluminum-bodied Jaguar XJ and Audi A8.
What we know so far
An earlier leak revealed that the entry-level 730i will pack a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at approximately 260 horsepower. The turbo four will likely be available only in Europe and it will understandably not be an option on long-wheelbase models.
Badged 740i, the next model up will feature a new 330-horsepower straight-six mill that will also be found under the hood of the long-awaited M2. Moving up, the 750i will utilize a 460-horsepower V8, while the range-topping 760i will boast a Rolls-Royce sourced 6.6-liter V12 engine that will develop up to 600 horsepower.
The lineup will include at least three diesel-burning models but whether or not they will be sold in the United States is not known.
Finally, two gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrains rated at 275 and 400 horsepower, respectively, will round out the lineup. The plug-ins will be equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission while every other model will feature an eight-speed unit. BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system will be available on select models at an extra cost.
BMW has confirmed once again that it will not build a sport-focused M7.
"We feel really good with what we've got with Alpina. The 'M' adds sort of a track-element to that, and I don't know if there's a lot of demand for the 7 Series on the track," explained Paul Ferraiolo, BMW's director of product planning, in an interview with Motor Trend.
Additional details about the 2016 BMW 7 Series will gradually emerge over the coming months. BMW's next flagship will likely be introduced at the Geneva Motor Show that will open its doors next March and it will go on sale across the nation shortly after.