BMW’s Next-Generation 7-Series Flagship Close to Launch
– BMW’s next-generation 7-series saloon has been spotted at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit ahead
of its official reveal expected next month. The current 7-series was the first
BMW model to introduce the notorious ‘Bangle butt’ boot lid and flame surface
design language, but for its successor designers have gone with a more
conservative look, according to www.carcentral.com.au.
7-series receives a longer wheelbase and wider track, increasing interior space,
and improving handling. The prototype’s front end also appears much longer than
the current model, although its overhangs have been kept short. This design has
allowed engineers to push the front axle further out, increasing the car’s footprint
and thus improving dynamics. It also gives the car a wheel-at-each corner
appearance, making it look smaller than it actually is as well as adding a bit
of sportiness to its styling.
exterior changes appear to have been kept to a minimum, there are rumored to be
a raft of significant upgrades underneath the new sheet-metal to help push the
7-series ahead of its Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8 rivals in the
expected to install a new eight-speed automatic from German transmission
specialist ZF that will boost fuel-consumption and performance compared to the
current model’s six-speed unit. There will also be a hybrid option based on the
new two-mode hybrid system developed in partnership with General Motors, Daimler
hybrid variant will feature a petrol powered engine mated to a compact
generator-motor mounted directly onto the gearbox. The electric motor will be
powered by an array of lithium-ion batteries in the boot, which can be charged
up using conventional brake-energy regeneration technology. Its launch, however,
is still several years away, according to www.carcentral.com.au.
powertrain lineup for the new seven-series range will include everything from
four-cylinder turbodiesels up to V-12 petrol mills. The car will also likely
pick up the same 298kW 4.4-liter V-8 from the recently introduced X6.
features will include an upgraded radar cruise control system with automatic
braking plus a new camera-based lane departure and blind-spot warning system.
There’s also the possibility of a new dual-view display screen that allows
passengers to watch two different images from a single screen depending on the
angle they’re sitting at. This means the front passenger and driver would see
two separate images when looking at the single display, a set-up that could
potentially be used to display a satnav map for the driver and entertainment
programs for passengers simultaneously. A more advanced night vision system
with pedestrian and speed sign detection features will also be introduced for
BMW models are usually launched in Australia several months after they
first go on sale overseas, so expect to see the new range in local showrooms
early next year. The hybrid model, if offered in Australia, will likely arrive
around 2010 or later.