The all-new BMW 7-Series has been spotted testing again. New platform and lightweight materials are confirmed for 2016 flagship together with design cues lifted from Gran Lusso Coupé.
BMW’s all-new 7-Series is one of its most technically advanced cars yet and a crucial model for the firm. Its sophisticated platform, known under the internal codename OKL or Oberklasse – the German therm for ‘luxury class’, has been conceived to underpin all high-end BMW models that use a longitudinally mounted engine, including future 5 and 6-Series models.
The structure of the new BMW 7-Series uses a combination of aluminium, hot-formed high-strength steel and composite carbonfibre parts to reduce weight and deliver exceptional rigidity levels.
The new BMW 7-Series is planned to feature a family of six, eight and twelve-cylinder engines with a plug-in hybrid variant also available right from the outset. The hybrid will mix a gasoline engine with an electric unit, being positioned as a direct rival for the new Mercedes S 500 Plug-In Hybrid.
The in-line units are central to the new modular engine family, with both petrol and diesel units set to share common capacities. An all-new M Performance version is set to join the range. Fitted with a twin-turbocharged V8, it is expected to produce close to 500-550 HP. A fully fledged M7 variant is still out of the cards.
BMW is planning to provide the new 7-Series with a new ZF-engineered nine-speed automatic transmission and a draft of innovative systems such as traffic warning, self-parking or autonomous driving capability.