New 'G11' 7-series will replace the current F01/F02 generation
All-new model is already being tested despite current car's 2012 facelift
BMW will offer both petrol and diesel options in the new 7-series
Proprietary xDrive four-wheel-drive system will be available in markets that demand it
BMW will make extensive use of lightweight engineering and materials to cut the 7's weight
Both short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase versions will be offered
These are the first spy shots of the next generation BMW 7-series.
Reputedly codenamed G11, the model model has already begun testing despite a recent facelift of the current generation.
The manufacturer's research and development chief, Klaus Draeger, said that the new 7-series will feature a mix of materials, with carbonfibre being used alongside aluminium and steel. The roof, bonnet and boot lid could potentially be made entirely from carbonfibre.
BMW will likely offer both short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase versions of the car, as well as diesel and petrol variants. The xDrive four-wheel-drive system will no doubt feature as well, although only in versions sold in regions that necessitate it.
It's thought that the new 7-series, which will rival the new Mercedes-Benz S-class, will go on sale in late 2015.