Less than one year after the LCI facelift update for the current F01 7 Series, the next generation 2016 7 Series (chassis code G11) has just begun testing!
Carbon Fiber / Aluminum Construction
The most anticipated aspect of the G11 7 Series is that will feature the latest in BMW construction technology - namely, an exotic mix of CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) and aluminum which will be used heavily throughout the car's key areas - platform, structure and body panels. The G11 will represent the first mainstream BMW model to feature carbon fiber as a key material (after the niche i3 and i8 models
). This was previously confirmed
by BMW R&D chief Klaus Draeger.
With gas prices ever rising, emissions requirements becoming more stringent by the year, and vehicle weights bloating, increased efficiency without sacrificing performance is a goal BMW seems intent to accomplish, by reducing the weight of its vehicles through heavy use of carbon fiber technology. For this reason, the company started the joint venture with SGL Group
in 2011 to take the carbon fiber production process mass scale.
The 2016 7 Series will come in both standard and long wheel base Li models, with the usual gasoline and diesel engine lineup. There may also be a new V12 hybrid model introduced.
The G11 will likely spawn the first 7 Series M Performance model, possibly badged as the "M770i xDrive
As this is such an early prototype, heavy camouflage masks nearly all parts of the car. But, the G11 test mule appears to reveal one design aspect that would come as very welcome news to many - the hood shut line seems to have been moved to a much more attractive and natural position - to where the hood meets the kidney grilles. If true (and it's not just the camouflage playing tricks), this would hopefully be a signal that future BMW models (following the next 7 Series) will receive the same styling change.
Expect the next 7 Series to make its debut sometime in 2015.