BMW's next-generation 7 Series will be built on an enlarged version of the 3 Series' modular platform, be up to 200kg lighter than the current model and feature a nine-speed automatic as standard, if recent reports are to be believed.
The new 7 is also expected to continue to offer a range of six, eight and twelve-cylinder petrol engines, with the V8 and V12 to be all-new designs that use a 500cc individual cylinder capacity as their basis.
Four and six-cylinder diesels will also be offered, and BMW's triple-turbo 3.0 litre diesel six (as used by the X5 M50d) is also expected to be offered.
But according to UK mag Autocar, the biggest news will be the new 7's reduced kerb weight, to be achieved through the greater use of magnesium, aluminium, high-strength steel and carbon fibre in the vehicle's construction.
Meanwhile a nine-speed automatic is rumoured to be standard across the range, however with a BMW executive recently declaring nine-speeders to offer "almost zero percent" benefit over the company's existing eight-speed auto, we're not so sure about that claim.
The suspension will continue to follow the current 7's double-wishbone front and multi-link rear arrangement, but with greater use of aluminium suspension arms to drop weight and improve ride and handling.
Standard and long-wheelbase versions will continue to be offered, though an extra-long wheelbase version (principally for the Chinese market) has also been rumoured.
Styling is expected to be close to BMW's Future Luxury Concept (pictured) that was revealed earlier this year, and we should get our first glimpse at the all-new 7 Series when it makes its public debut in Frankfurt next month.
Production is expected to commence in the latter half of 2015, with the new 7 Series going on sale as a 2016 model.
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