MUNICH, GERMANY – 2009 will see the introduction of AWD versions of BMW’s new 7-Series saloon, with the first models likely appearing after a debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, according to Engineers are currently testing prototypes for the new model in the snowfields of Finland, with a number of technical elements planned for the car.

AWD variants of the 7-Series will carry BMW’s xDrive tag and will initially be available only in the 407 hp 750i. Other models are scheduled to follow soon after, however there are no plans for an AWD diesel 7-Series.

One new feature will be the addition of an electronic ‘Hill-Descent’ control — the first for a luxury AWD saloon. The cars will also have slighter taller ride-heights and special underbody protection, reports Automotive News Europe.