The BMW 7 Series was outsold by more than two to one last year by its great rival, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But with technological marvel cars like this, the real significance lies away from the sales chart and what it will mean in the future for volume cars such as the 3 Series.
New BMW boss Harald Kruger described the new 7 Series as "a window into the future of BMW" at the new car's grand unveiling in Munich last night. That future is, of course, a high-tech one (and if you detailed the amount of technology in the new 7 Series, it could produce thousands of words of copy for this website), and of most significance is the new car's construction.
In a world first in a volume model like the 7 Series, BMW has bonded carbonfibre into load-bearing parts of the structure, significantly improving rigidity and also helping to reduce weight dramatically and thus improve fuel economy. BMW calls the structure of the new 7 Series the 'carbon core'. It's been developed using learning and know-how from the i sub-brand, which is based 20 miles or so away from the Dingolfing production site that's home to the 7 Series.