Tony O'Kane | May 4, 2012

BMW boss Norbert Reithofer has reportedly confirmed that the updated 7 Series sedan will make its international sales debut in July, suggesting an unveiling could occur even sooner.

The news follows recent photos of the facelifted 7 Series testing in Europe, confirming reports that cosmetic changes will be minimal for the 2013 model.

Sporting only minor camouflage to its front bumper, rear bumper, headlamps, tail-lamps and quarter panel badging, this long-wheelbase prototype suggests that the only substantial external differences will be confined to the lower bumper grille aperture, with all sheetmetal carrying over unchanged.

Headlamp jewellery will likely undergo mild revisions, with greater use of LEDs.

A short-wheelbase 7 Series development mule spotted earlier had near identical camouflage.

As reported at the time, the most important alterations will be to the 7 Series' mechanical package.

Eight-speed transmissions will ilkely be applied across the range rather than just the flagship V12-powered 760Li, and power increases are expected for the turbo inline six and V8 twin-turbo engines.

More EfficientDynamics gear like engine start-stop and regenerative braking may also be applied to the 2013 7 Series range.

The 7 Series range could also be due to get a diesel-powered performer as part of the new M Performance range.

Topping the current 7 Series line-up, the so-called M750d would take on Audi's big S8 and Mercedes' S-Class AMG cars.

Power would likely come from the same M Performance diesel powering the M550d xDrive, its 3.0 litre six-cylinder and triple-turbo combination delivering 280kW and 740Nm of torque.

If the 7 Series version is offered exclusive with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, as the M550d is, its left-hand-drive-only design would keep it from Australian garages.

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