Next-gen BMW 7 Series to gain modular engine architecture, shed close to 500 pounds

There’s a new BMW 7 Series on the way, and even though it hasn’t graduated from its camo yet, we have a pretty good idea of what the car will be like.

The most notable change for the sixth-generation is the powertrain lineup. BMW is quickly unwrapping its new modular engine series, one that includes three, four, and six-cylinder units. According to Car and Driver, a choice selection of the modular six pots will make their way into the upcoming full-size luxury car.

Like Jaguar’s Ingenium engine line, there are shared components throughout the powertrain range, making the motors cheaper and easier to produce. Given the status of the vehicle they’ll be be fitted to, however, you can bet the modular engines will raise the bar for efficiency, refinement, and power.

The 7 Series will also debut BMW’s new rear-wheel drive architecture. The platform will eventually serve as the foundation for vehicles all across the German automaker’s line, and will reportedly accept electric components from the i3 and i8. And that can only mean one thing.

A four-cylinder hybrid is reportedly in the big Bimmer’s future, with a rumored output of up to 300 horsepower. Four-wheel drive should remain as an option as well.

Related: Will BMW’s sporty M2 finally come out to play at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show?

As is the current trend, BMW is integrating more aluminum and carbon fiber into its flagship to save weight. The additions (or subtractions, depending on your point of view) could shave 500 pounds off the new car, which should do wonders for efficiency and performance.

Don’t worry, the sedan’s lightweight principles won’t stop BMW from adding loads of cool tech to the 7 Series; our sources report range-topping units will wear new laser headlights and innovative refinements from the Vision Future Luxury concept.

It’s also worth nothing that the current V8 and V12 will likely remain for the next generation.

The 2016 BMW 7 Series is expected to make its public debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show, which kicks off in fall 2015.

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