In this latest batch we have what we believe to be the range-topping M760Li xDrive, which despite some rumors, will live on, at least for this generation 7-Series. Sitting under the redesigned hood and lights, is a resculpted “M” sport bumper, while our spies tell us that the kidney grilles seemed to be active to improve the performance limo’s aerodynamics.
The massive 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12, which in its current state, produces 601 horses and 590 lb-ft of torque for a 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds, isn’t expected to be tinkered with in terms of performance, but it could benefit from emission improvements.
But the twelve-cylinder performance model (pictured above) won’t constitute the bulk of the 7 Series sedans that BMW will sell. This will.
Captured in “standard” (non-M) specification while undergoing testing, the other two prototypes give us at least an idea of what the Bavarian manufacturer has in store for its big saloon.
More of a facelift than a comprehensive replacement, the revised 7 looks poised to gain a larger grille like that seen on the X7 concept. The production version of that crossover will sit alongside this sedan and the 8 Series Coupe at the very top of BMW’s growing lineup. The latter will debut on June 15.
The mid-life facelift (or as BMW calls it, LCI) will bring new tech features into the 7-Series, as well as an overall more distinctive exterior design. Changes will include new headlights and taillights that will probably get a thinner profile, the aforementioned new kidney grille and redesigned front and rear bumpers.
Prettier on the outside, more high-tech on the inside
Expect BMW to apply more revisions inside – especially to its infotainment and driver-assistance systems – all to help it secure a larger slice of that big luxurious pie.
The cabin of BMW’s flagship sedan will feature the latest version of the iDrive infotainment system, possibly with a bigger touchscreen display, as well as the all-new configurable digital instrument cluster that was previewed a few days ago. BMW will also update the list of trim and upholstery options, further boosting the 7-Series’ appeal to high-end customers.
Updated engine range, including “redeveloped” 4.4-liter V8
We don’t know much about the changes in the engine range department, but it’s safe to expect the facelifted 7-Series to use the latest powertrains with the 8-Series. The range will include a redeveloped 4.4-liter V8 with 523hp (530PS) and 553lb-ft (750Nm) of peak torque, with the rest of the six-cylinder engine gasoline and diesel options to be updated for lower emissions and better performance.
The German automaker introduced the current 7 Series (internally designated as G11) in 2015, only shortly after Mercedes launched its current segment-leading S-Class sedan (which itself underwent a similar update just last year).
This round of revisions ought to help Munich fend off advances from rivals like the Audi A8 and Lexus LS, both of which have recently launched in all-new iterations. Also-rans like the Jaguar XJ and Maserati Quattroporte, however, were launched in 2009 and 2013, respectively, and have since grown a little long in the tooth.
Expect the revised BMW 7 Series to arrive sometime next year as either a 2019 or 2020 model.
Additional reporting by Michael Karkafiris. New photos have been added to the article as well