REPORTS FROM EUROPE say that BMW is busy preparing a newer, more powerful diesel powertrain and a grip-promoting all-wheel-drive system for next year's 7 Series, two pieces of kit that, if introduced, would give the Bavarian manufacturer a distinct leg-up over its rivals.
The new diesel motor will power a future 735d model and take over from the current 3.0 litre diesel in the 730d. Although the new engine will share the 730d's three-litre capacity, a bigger pair of turbochargers as well as other refinements will see power and torque jump markedly.
Power will be up from 180kW to 225kW, while torque will rise 60Nm to 600Nm - both a handy improvement over the current twin-turbocharged diesel powerplant. Fuel consumption and carbon emissions are also said to have improved by four percent.
The improved diesel engine is expected to make its premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year, where BMW is also tipped to reveal a new all-wheel-drive system for the 7 Series.
Based on the system that underpins the X6 and X5, the xDrive-labelled AWD tech that's destined for the 7 Series is expected to only be available with the twin-turbocharged 4.4 litre V8 of the 750i.
Torque will be split 40-60 front to rear during normal driving with up to 80 percent of drive sent to the rear axle during spirited jaunts, while hill descent control is also rumoured for the xDrive-equipped 7 Series.
An Australian release date for the new diesel and AWD system have yet to be released, however European markets should start receiving them in the last quarter of this year.