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BMW teases 2016 7 Series [Video]

by Ronan Glon

The next 7 will inaugurate BMW\'s remote-controlled parking technology.

The 2016 BMW 7 Series is right around the corner, and the Munich-based company is giving us a better idea of what to expect from it when it lands.

The next 7 will get a more muscular appearance that will fall in line with BMW's latest design language. The front end will feature elongated headlights that extend to the edge of the twin kidney grilles, while the rear end will be equipped with tail lamps inspired by the units found on a number of BMW cars including the 3 Series and the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Overall, the next 7 appears to be more of a careful evolution of the current model than a revolution.

Much bigger changes are found under the skin. The next-generation 7 Series will take advantage of the manufacturing techniques learned through BMW's i3 and i8 programs, meaning that it will be the first regular-production BMW to use carbon fiber in its construction. The lightweight material will allow it to weigh up to 290 pounds less than the current model in its lightest configuration.

Inside, the next 7 will be packed with high-tech features including a fully configurable digital instrument cluster and a touch screen-based infotainment system capable of recognizing hand gestures. The 7 will also be the world's first regular-production sedan available with a remote-controlled parking function. Offered as an option, the technology will let owners maneuver the car in and out of tight parking spots using a small key fob to control the steering, the gas and the brakes.

Technical details

An earlier leak revealed that the entry-level 730i will pack a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at approximately 260 horsepower. The turbo four will likely be available only in Europe and it will understandably not be an option on long-wheelbase models.

Badged 740i, the next model up will feature a new 330-horsepower straight-six mill that will also be found under the hood of the long-awaited M2. Moving up, the 750i will utilize a 460-horsepower V8, while the range-topping 760i will boast a Rolls-Royce sourced 6.6-liter V12 engine that will develop up to 600 horsepower.

The lineup will include at least three diesel-burning models but whether or not they will be sold in the United States is not known.

Finally, two gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrains rated at 275 and 400 horsepower, respectively, will round out the lineup. The plug-ins will be equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission while every other model will feature an eight-speed unit. BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system will be available on select models at an extra cost.

BMW has confirmed once again that it will not build a sport-focused M7.

"We feel really good with what we've got with Alpina. The ‘M' adds sort of a track-element to that, and I don't know if there's a lot of demand for the 7 Series on the track," explained Paul Ferraiolo, BMW's director of product planning.

Additional details about the 2016 BMW 7 Series will gradually emerge over the coming months. BMW's next flagship will be introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show that will open its doors next fall and it will go on sale across the nation early next year.

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