Lightness key to new BMW 7-Series
BMW has said that their mobile-luxury-palace, the 7-Series, will focus on reducing weight as well as being capped by a M-division performance model.
The weight saving has been derived from an extensive use of aluminium, magnesium, high-strength steel and carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), which have contributed to a total saving of over 200kg.
CFRP has become all the rage in vehicle manufacturing because of its strength to weight ratio, but while it has normally been used in non-loading baring panels such as the bonnet and roof, BMW will be constructing part of the floorpan and body from it as well.
It is estimated that these weight savings will result in the lightest of the 7-Series range, the 740i, weighing in at around 1650kg, which is slightly less than the current 535i.
The new 7-Series will also benefit from a host of modular cleverness, which will allow it to use similar engine and construction technology from the 3 and 4-Series, and which will later be integrated into the 5 and 6-Series.
This modular technology will result in the 7-Series housing engines with 4, 6, 8 and 12 cylinders spanning displacements from 2,0-litres all the way to 6,0-litres.
The diesel units will serve the bottom end of the engine rung, and will be available in 2,0-litre and 3,0-litre displacements. The 3,0-litre straight six will also be available in two stages of tuning, using either a twin or triple turbocharger setup.
All of the petrol engines will be turbocharged, even the 6,0-litre V12, which has been lifted from Roll Royce but surprisingly it might not be the most powerful of the 7-Series models because BMW has been playing with the idea of a M7 or M750i vehicle.
The car is tipped to use a heavily modified version of the M5’s 4,4-litre V8, which could see an output as high as 447 kW.
BMW will be officially unveiling the car next year at the Frankfurt motor show, but dealers are only expected to receive stock in 2016.