Surprisingly, the 7 will inaugurate BMW’s remote-controlled parking technology. Owners who order the option will be able to maneuver the sedan in and out of tight parking spots by controlling the gas, the brakes and the steering using buttons located on a purpose-designed key fob. The system will only work at ultra-low speeds, meaning it won’t be possible to send the 7 to the store and back without a driver.
The 7 will also usher in the latest generation of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. For the first time ever, passengers will be able to operate iDrive using either a touch screen, hand gestures or the controller knob found in most modern BMWs. The redesigned infotainment system will gradually trickle down to smaller members of the BMW family.
Official technical details are still few and far between but the Munich-based automaker promises the 7 will be available with a wide selection of four-, six- and twelve-cylinder engines. A plug-in hybrid model will likely join the lineup later in the production run, and German media outlets are reporting that a 600-horsepower M7 will be introduced in 2016.
The 7 will also benefit from technology gleaned from BMW’s i sub-brand. In its lightest configuration, the flagship will weigh nearly 300 pounds less than the current model thanks to the widespread use of carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic in its construction. The diet is expected to noticeably improve the 7’s gas mileage and make it a lot more nimble to drive.
BMW will publish additional details about the next-gen 7 Series in the coming months. The sedan will greet the public for the first time next fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show and it is expected to go on sale in about a year as a 2017 model.