The 2015 BMW 7 Series has renewed the brand’s assault on the luxury class.
Set to go on sale in the UK on 24 October, the upmarket saloon has been comprehensively re-engineered in a move that sees it shed up to 130kg over its predecessor through the adoption of a new hybrid construction process that uses varying forms of carbonfibre in load-bearing areas of its body structure.
Further developments include newly developed in-line six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and a plug-in hybrid model with an electric range of up to 25 miles. The 7 Series also gets a heavily reworked chassis that combines four-wheel steering with four-wheel drive for the first time, a remote parking system that allows you to step out of the car before it parks itself and a series of new iDrive control functions, including both touch and gesture controls that allow the driver to deliver commands with a wave of the hand.
The new 7 Series, codenamed G11 (short wheelbase) and G12 (long wheelbase), maintains the visual identity of the previous-generation model. The traditional three-box silhouette is retained, albeit with a slightly more raked rear window and a more heavily sloping boot lid that serve to provide it with a sleeker profile.
Among the detail changes are a more prominent kidney grille with flaps that open to increase airflow to the engine bay when required, larger LED headlights (with optional laser high beams from the i8), a more heavily structured front bumper with integral LED foglights and a more heavily contoured bonnet.
Along the flanks there is now a more pronounced shoulder, a taller glasshouse and a chrome highlight that runs from the air breather behind the front wheel arches and along the lower edges of the doors. The rear is distinguished by a high-set boot, traditional L-shaped tail-lights joined by a chrome strip and tail pipes set within the rear valance panel.
BMW has also developed four different styling packages for the new car: standard, M Sport, Pure Excellence and Individual.
At 5098mm in length, 1902mm in width and 1478mm in height, the new 7 Series is 19mm longer and 7mm higher than its predecessor in standard wheelbase guise, although it is the same width as before. The long-wheelbase variant gains an added 139mm in length, making it 18mm longer than the car it replaces, at 5238mm.
Both the standard and long-wheelbase variants share the same wheelbase measurements as the old 7 Series models, at 3070mm and 3210mm respectively. The front track has increased by 7mm in width at 1618mm, while the rear track is reduced by 4mm at 1646mm.