The next-generation BMW 7 Series has now been sighted with its interior in view, along with reduced camouflage that now show more of its front end. Here, the signature kidney grille can partly be seen beneath the camouflage foil, which appears to still comprise a considerable proportion of the front fascia’s height, as on the G11/G12 LCI mid-lifecycle revision.
Headlamps and tail lamps on the next-generation 7 Series remain to be seen as the lighting units on this development vehicle are interim prototype items, which aren’t likely to be representative of the production set. What could be indicative, however, could be the more angular crease lines both on the body as well as for the headlamps and tail lamps, relative to the current G11/G12 model.
Several key changes from the interior of the G11/G12-generation car appear in the development vehicle sighted here. Certain design elements have been drawn from the iX electric SUV, such as the seat adjustment controls which have been relocated to the upper section of the door cards a la Mercedes, while gaining a flat-bottomed steering wheel (the unit in the iX is more polygonal).
Also drawn from the iX are the multi-function controls, which are of a similar shape and layout on this development 7 Series, along with toggle on the left-hand spoke and the scroll wheel on the right-hand spoke. This could also be a prototype steering wheel possibly for an M Performance version, denoted by the 12 o’clock position marker. This example also reveals a speaker unit in the driver’s headrest.
There also appear to be light inserts on each side of the steering wheel rim. These could possibly be for visual cues to inform the driver of transitions into and out of autonomous driving modes, letting the driver know when it is safe to hand over control to the assistance system, and when manual control is required.
In the vein of the iX, too, is the dual-widescreen floating display for driver instrumentation as well as for infotainment, which is seen here in the cabin of the development unit 7 Series in a slightly curved arrangement. Down towards the centre console, the iDrive controller takes a more prominent position, alongside the transmission control that is likely to be a small toggle as on the iX (here concealed by the driver’s hand).
In terms of powertrain, the next-generation 7 Series was reported early last year to have not one, but two M Performance models in the works, BMW Blog reported at the time. Both will be electrified, and the more potent of the two is to be fully electric.
The first of the two M Performance models has been tipped to be called the ‘M750e’, which is said to pack a 3.0 litre inline-six petrol mated to electric drive for a total system output in the region of 500 PS, placing in the ballpark of the 750i in the current G11/G12 generation car.
The second, pure EV version is tipped to be badged ‘i7 M60’ or ‘Mi7’, and sources told the website this could be a successor to the current M760Li V12 flagship with two electric motors for a total system output of ‘at least’ 650 PS, capping a range that will span internal combustion, plug-in hybrid and fully electric choices.
For now, the next-generation BMW 7 Series is set for debut late in 2022 or early 2023, with a possible preview in concept form at this year’s IAA Munich, which takes over from Frankfurt as host city after almost 70 years as venue for the motor show in Germany.
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