What to expect from the G11 BMW 7 Series design

7-series | December 4th, 2014 by 7
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I remember first seeing the movie “The Transporter”, starring Jason Statham, just a little over ten years ago. I was around 14 when I first …

I remember first seeing the movie “The Transporter”, starring Jason Statham, just a little over ten years ago. I was around 14 when I first saw it and I loved it, I loved the action, I thought Jason Statham was the toughest guy on the planet, but most of all I loved the car. I used to daydream about ripping through the street and slicing through traffic in a black on black E38 BMW 735i with a 6-speed manual (even though the car used in the movie was a 750iL).

Every time I saw an E38 7 Series on the streets it would evoke visions of being Frank Martin, driving through France, banging off red-line upshifts while simultaneously punching baddies in the face. That car is what made me fall in love with the brand and inspired me to make my first car purchase, a 1996 328i sedan (I couldn’t afford a 7).

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After the E38, BMW seemed to have lost its way, with the ever-so-ugly E65. Calling it ugly may come at an odd time, as Chris Harris just recently proclaimed Chris Bangle, the E65’s designer, a prophet and that the E65 wasn’t ugly but ahead of its time.

BMW 7 Series E65 2002 Photo 16 750x562

I must disagree with Mr. Harris, as I find the E65 to be shocking, not even just in its looks but as a car in general. Whereas the E38 was graceful, understated yet still athletic, the E65 was techno-filled, outrageous and a bit vulgar. It was also too heavy and never had the handling chops the E38 had. It completely turned me off from the 7 Series line thereafter. It wasn’t just me either, even Frank Martin switched to Audi after the E65 debuted. Its F01 successor didn’t do much to help either, growing in both size and weight while not gaining much in the performance department.

The 7 Series has yet to retain its glory since its E38 iteration.

Rendering G11 7 Series

Rendering G11 7 Series

However, BMW seems poised to bounce back from its days of “Bangle-Butt” and “Flame Surfacing”. The upcoming G11 7 Series shows promise, in its spy shots and early renderings. It looks low-slung and lithe, aggressive yet sophisticated. The same qualities I so admired in Frank Martin’s transport machine. It looks like it can properly handle, too. That steeply-raked roofline and C pillar give it an athletic look its past two predecessors didn’t have.

The interior seems to be simplified as well, which is a good thing, seeing as the past two generations have just been massive techno-fests. While the G11 will most definitely have all of BMW’s latest technology, and probably some new tech-tricks up its sleeve, it seems to mask it all pretty well.

From what I’ve seen, albeit there hasn’t been much leaked so far, I have high hopes for the G11 7 Series. It could just be wishful thinking, this new G11 could turn out to be another E65-type monstrosity, but I have a feeling that this new car will bring back many of the things I loved about the E38. Just maybe, hopefully, the new G11 7 Series will be good enough that Frank Martin would buy one again.

Twitter handle: @EngineBayBlog

7 responses to “What to expect from the G11 BMW 7 Series design”

  1. Joe Alexander says:

    Have you driven any of these cars? As an experienced owner, I can tell you that they have progressively improved with each model series. As for design, I would defer to your colleague. You don’t have to have experience or insight to write an article like this, just an opinion–an opinion that owners would more often than not, vehemently disagree with. They switched cars in the second Transporter because of Audi’s trumping BMWs product placement incentives. And the BMW in the transporter wasn’t a 750, it we re-badged.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      It depends how you look at this. If you look from a design perspective, the last 2 generations 7 Series weren’t all that impressive. And that shows in the last few years even more with Mercedes S-Class taking most of the sales in the class. Inside the cabin, the 7er also feels a bit like running behind. Now we all love the E32 or E38 because those are some great times for automakers and great, cool designs.

      All I know is that the next generation will not be a revolutionary design, but it will be an amazing ride. 200 kg lighter, tons of cool tech and higher premium materials.

  2. Michael says:

    I disagree. The E38 lacked the proportions of a true flagship vehicle. Think of the grandiose S-class of those days with its immense size and distinctive square silhouette. It wasn’t until Bangle breathed new life into the 7-series that it became a true competitor to the S-class which arguably sets the benchmark for this market. As for the model available now, it is less impressive when compared to the new S-class but the S-class is just that; new. The 7er is desperate for replacement and also for re-assessment in terms of how the 7 should approach its competition which has moved up-market. I find the current model, when in individual trim, to be very impressive. The vehicle which likely best meets the subjectively desired description from the author is the 6er GC which is much sportier ride and design. Both are attention grabbers but the 7 is intended to be more of a luxury focused model.

  3. 318ti rwd powerslide says:

    The prefacelift e65 was an excellent design. But, it was too shocking and for the life cycle impulse, they dumbed it down. The original “Bangle butt” on the 7er and 6er were striking, new designs. That facelift e65 is just terrible.

  4. tarena1991 says:

    As controversial as Chris Bangle’s design was, at least it was both daring and striking. Ever since that design, the 7 series has felt like it was trying to apologize by being facelifted and castrated into a snoozefest of compromise. The exterior is seriously lacking presence and the interior is at least a full class below the S-class and A8.

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