Having seen the new 7-Series in the metal, I have to say that – as is so often the case with new cars – two dimensions just don’t do its shape justice.

P0044063In pictures the new 7 looks two things: very similar to current model and slab-sided. What pictures do not effectively show though is the gentle curve to the car’s flanks and the crease running the car’s length, which together work to disguise the bulk and give the new 7-series a far greater elegance and sense of proportion than the current model.

To my eye, the profile works well, and the back end is a real success. The 7-series used to be infamous for its elaborate rear lights, which made it instantly recognisable from behind (normally after it had overtaken you on the motorway at night). The current shape 7-series’ back end is at best bland and at worst a mess – but with the new one BMW is back on track. (Even if, whisper it, from some angles there’s a hint of Citroen C5.)