New BMW 7 Series 2015: Price, release date & specs
New BMW 7 Series will be cheaper to run than the old model and feature a luxurious interior
At the Geneva motor show earlier this year, the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept was the star of its maker's stand. But strip away the more radical styling elements and you're looking at the next BMW 7 Series luxury saloon.
Although it won't feature the concept's thin door pillars, it will feature a lightweight aluminium and carbon fibre construction - the latter being the same tough material that F1 cars are built from. Plus, the production car will be fitted with a plush, high-quality interior featuring the latest range of gadgets.
New BMW 7 Series release date & price
BMW isn't giving much away about the new 7 Series, but heavily disguised prototypes have already been spotted out testing so the new model’s arrival isn't far away. A public unveil at the biennial Frankfurt Motor Show in September next year seems likely, while prices will be a little higher than today's models. That means buyers can expect to pay around £60,000 for the entry-level model and as much as £100,000 for the most luxurious and fastest models.
New BMW 7 Series styling
We can expect the production BMW 7 Series to take styling cues from the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept show car.
BMW is keen to reassert the 7 Series as the sporty choice in the luxury car segment, which makes the aggressively styled grille a sure-fire feature in the production car. Powerful laser lights – which the company pioneered in the BMW i8 – are another likely addition, which would give the car an eye-catching front end. The Vision Future Luxury featured organic LEDs at the rear, which are thinner than conventional LEDs and can be shaped into intricate patterns.
The tough carbon fibre construction allows the possibility of the car featuring the same thin door pillars as the Vision Future Luxury Concept, but it's unclear if they'll feature on the production car. As with the current model, BMW will offer the 7 Series in short-wheelbase (SWB) and long-wheelbase (LWB) forms.
New BMW 7 series interior & spec
As you would expect of BMW’s flagship saloon, the new 7 Series will come with a long list of standard equipment.
Two large displays in the front will allow BMW to cut down on conventional buttons and much of the car’s systems will be controlled by voice recognition. That allows BMW to give the interior a much more luxurious feel with plenty of metal and wood on show, while (as in the Vision Future Luxury concept) carbon fibre could be used to underpin the interior and save weight.
A fighter jet-style head-up display, which beams information onto the windscreen in the driver's line of sight, already feature in the BMW range but the 7 Series is in-line to receive the latest generation of the technology. Instead of just projecting information – such as current speed – onto the windscreen, it could also create an augmented display that would highlight roadside hazards and warning signs.
Another feature of the Vision Future Luxury concept was Traffic Light Assistant, which features real-time information on traffic light phasing, and BMW’s ConnectedDrive Luxury Concierge service. It allows passengers to buy items such as theatre tickets via the car’s infotainment system. Expect to see these features, or something similar, in the 7 Series range.
Luxurious rear seats are guaranteed and the 7 Series will feature a rear-seat touch command centre, which would relay information such as speed and route information to back-seat passengers. It would integrate with the car’s infotainment system to let passengers stream music and videos straight from the internet.
New BMW 7 Series design & engines
The Vision Future Luxury concept featured a high-tech design using carbon fibre and aluminium to save weight and there’s speculation that the new 7 Series could weigh 200kg less than the old model.
Reducing the weight allows BMW to fit smaller engines, and this could be the first 7 Series to be available with a small four-cylinder diesel engine for reduced running costs. The car’s design will also allow for the fitting of electric and hybrid engines – something the company has experience with from the BMW i3 and BMW i8.
More traditional large engines will also be available, but they’ll use turbochargers to boost power and improve fuel economy. The new 7 Series is also widely tipped to spawn a sporty model engineered by BMW’s M motorsport division - the makers of the BMW M3 and BMW M4.