BMW is preparing to roll out the new 7-series in 2015 – with a slick new look, tech galore and two bodystyles ready to challenge the mighty new Mercedes S-class, which has steamrollered all competition before it.
Yes, Munich’s new flagship will again be badged 7-series. The proposed 9-series coupe, shown at Villa d´Este in 2013 and designed by Pininfarina together with BMW´s own Karim Habib, has gone exactly nowhere, and the this-might-be-the-secret-9-series Beijing Show concept (dubbed internally DCC050) was at best an overstyled teaser. There will be no 9-series in the foreseeable future, and that’s a promise.
BMW 7-series: codenamed G11 and G12
Anyone who’d given up understanding BMW E and F codenames may be in for a shock. The 2015 7-series uses yet another letter to keep anoraks on their toes. The G11 stands for the standard-wheelbase 7-series while the G12 denotes the LWB effort.
Although we don’t have any renderings of the new 7-series, we have heard a surprising amount about the look of the new limo. And it’s the extended wheelbase variant which makes the bigger splash. After all, this is the only 7-series model to wear eye-catching chrome accents along the shoulders, sills, grille, door handles and exhaust. Not subtle, but very attractive. A new styling element worth closer inspection is the full-width aperture that links the lower lateral nasal air intakes.
It makes the front end look bolder and sportier. Inside the 2015 BMW 7-series, we find the usual blend of leather, wood, carbonfibre and metal, plus the latest TFT and HUD gadgetry. The cabin is light years classier than the 5- and 6-series’ cockpits.
The oily bits inside the new 2015 BMW 7-series
The new 2015 BMW 7-series, ne G11/G12, is the first BMW based on the ‘35up’ architecture which is fully scalable in dimensions, materials and content. Weight problems are addressed and solved by clever combinations of defined-to-measure sub-modules featuring lightweight material mixes.
In the case of the new 7-series, this means that the entry-level versions will for instance use lighter chassis elements, smaller brakes and a less complex cooling circuit than the high-end cars. This saves in excess of 100 kilos over the outgoing model, sources say.
A 2.0-litre 7-series is coming
BMW is investigating a bespoke Efficient Dynamics version to create a 725i powered by a 272bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder which is, if so far only on paper, rated at 40.8mpg.
The new top-of-the-line model is the first BMW to feature the latest 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engines codenamed B58 (petrol) and B57 (Diesel). While power and torque are up by about 10%, the fuel economy improves by a similar amount.
The V8 undergoes a mid-cycle efficiency boost but does not yet follow the cost-saving 500cc-per-single-cylinder formula. What about the V12, you ask? It would not be worth to update it exclusively for the 760i, which finds on average only 4000 takers per year.
But since Rolls-Royce intends to keep waving the 12-cylinder flag for several years to come, the twin-turbo powerplant gets a fresh lease of life. On the hybrid front, G11/G12 switches from parallel to plug-in application. According to the Munich grapevine, the 750h will mate a 345bhp twin-turbo six to a 109bhp e-motor. In an evolutionary step, BMW is expected to upgrade the system from plug-in to induction charging which is a lot more convenient but about 15% less efficient.