29 July 2004

The first of the latest generation of Chris Bangle-designed BMWs will soon be facelifted. The 7-series, seen by many as the most awkward of the new breed, will be revised next spring.

Our spies caught the Seven testing at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany and our exclusive shots reveal a new front end with more shapely headlamps and a redesigned, taller grille. Despite the disguise masking many of the details, the front appears more elegant than the blunt snout of today’s Seven.

The rear, too, has come in for cosmetic surgery, with a more modest makeover to make it look slightly less bulbous: the shape of the bootlid and the bumper assembly (right) are both changed.

BMW plans to fit two new engines as part of the 7-series’ facelift: a new 255bhp 3.0-litre straight six and the 268bhp 3.0-litre straight six twin-turbodiesel. A simplified iDrive multi-function controller – like that on the 5-series – and a general tidy-up inside completes the facelift.

Insiders say the new car will go on sale next April, suggesting BMW will launch the car at the Geneva Motor Show early next spring. Expect prices to start at around £48,000.

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