Open the driver’s door and you’ll find a badge on the 7 Series’ inner B-pillar proclaiming something BMW calls a ‘carbon core’.
This is nothing like a carbonfibre tub of the sort that Munich designed for the i8 or that McLaren uses for its models, but it does allow BMW to rightfully claim to be using machine-manufactured carbonfibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) as a structural ingredient.
The car’s body-in-white is predominantly a mix of aluminium and high-strength steel. It differs from type where BMW grafts long fillets of CFRP to the skeleton, notably along the pillars, roof rails, sills and transmission tunnel.
Being both light and strong under torsion and compression, CFRP allows BMW to reduce the gauge of the metalwork to which it’s bonded, all while making it more rigid. The upshot is a superstructure that’s stiffer and 40kg lighter than that of the previous model, despite being larger.
Elsewhere, new near-source thermal and acoustic shielding saves a considerable amount of weight on NVH insulation. Underneath, a lightweight, aluminium-rich suspension design makes for 15 per cent less unsprung mass, with double wishbones fitted up front and multi-links at the rear, cradling the weight via all-corner air suspension and adaptive dampers as standard. Model for model, the new 7 Series is up to 130kg lighter than its forebear.
An Integral Active Steering set-up, working through a new variable-ratio power steering system and rear-axle steering, is an option, as is an electromechanical active anti-roll bar set-up called Executive Drive Pro.