The BMW 7 Series is going on a diet.
In the annual general shareholders meeting BMW AG chairman Dr. Norbert Reithofer – who could not sound more German if he tried – confirmed that the next generation BMW’s flagship will make extensive use of carbon fiber.
BMW has already demonstrated that it knows a thing or two about using the lightweight material to build cars. BMW’s M cars have featured carbon fiber roofs for years, and more recently the electric i3 and i8 feature passenger cells made entirely from carbon fiber.
Don’t expect anything quite that radical from the venerable 7 Series. The chassis will almost certainly still be made of more prosaic material like steel and aluminum. Carbon fiber is likely to be used to form the majority of the body panels, and certain structural members.
The results? According to Dr. Reithoffer the new 7 Series’ “low weight will set a very high standard for the segment.”
Just how high a standard? Reports from Autocar has suggested that BMW is targeting a curb weight of just 3,680 pounds. That is not just 600 pounds less than the outgoing car. In fact, it’s even less than the smaller 5 Series.
If BMW can achieve this goal, it would not only be an engineering marvel, it would cement the 7 Series as the best driving, most fun flagship executive car. That’s an important goal considering just how good competition like the Mercedes S-Class is.
We will have to wait at least another year to find out, as the new 7 Series is likely to be released as a 2016 model sometime in mid to late 2015. We will have our scales ready.
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