Nothing warms the cockles of our hearts like seeing BMW use old-school design elements on its newer cars. So many of the Bavarian brand’s modern cars have strayed from their design roots that we almost forgot what those were. However, it seems as if someone on BMW’s design team still remembers what a proper BMW looks like, as the upcoming next-generation 7 Series actually has some old-school design elements that make us smile, as evidenced by some new spy photos. (We don’t own the photos but see them here)

In these new spy photos, you can clearly see the next-gen BMW 7 Series wearing a heavy layer of camouflage, testing in the snow. What’s interesting about this new 7er, though, is the butt. The rear end of the 7 Series test mule bears a striking resemblance to the original E23 7 Series. Auto Evolution brought this to our attention and it seems absolutely correct. The more upright C-pillar and downward sloping trunk lid, which both combine to create a smooth, sloping transition from the roof to the taillights, are reminiscent of the original E23-generation car.

E23 7 Series

Compare the new car’s C-pillar and trunk lid to the current car and you’ll see that the former is far more traditional than the latter. The current G11-generation 7 Series sports a lower roofline with a more aggressive C-pillar design, as well as a relatively flat trunk lit. You’ll also notice that the new car has a more traditional Hofmeister Kink than most modern BMWs, again harking back to the original E23.

What’s interesting is that the front end seems to be a bit of a mix, between old-school and new-school. There seems to be a hint of shark-nose at the front of the next-gen 7 Series, with the tip of the hood extending out past the face of the front bumper, which, though subtle, is reminiscent of the E23 and other BMWs of that era. It’s also a departure from the more upright grille of the current car. The headlights also seem to sit underneath the cantilever of the hood, another throwback design.

However, there are rumors that BMW could be giving the 7er a split-headlight design, which would be a drastic departure from any headlight design in the brand’s history. So there might be a mixture of new and old ideas, there.

G11 7 Series

Admittedly, there is some cause for hesitation here. This 7 Series test mule seems as if it could have some fake body panels attached to it. While that might seem a bit too clandestine for a car manufacturer, BMW has used such trickery before. So we wouldn’t put it past the Bavarians to trick us with some fake panels. Though, we do hope BMW isn’t tricking us, as this test mule looks more interesting, just in profile, than the current car, which is far too vanilla. Hopefully BMW can use some retro elements with new technologies to make a great looking 7er. We can’t wait to find out.

[Source: Auto Evolution] [Top Image: @joelre98]