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All-new BMW 7 Series caught in Melbourne

words - Mike Sinclair
BMW's all-new range-topper has made an unscheduled, unofficial 'debut' Down Under

The beautiful BMW is on its way back! Caught during a brochure shoot in Melbourne's South Yarra earlier today (Sunday, March 2), the all-new 7 Series promises a return to classical BMW proportions and looks.

Though tight security prevented the Carsales Network from photographing the 7 Series undisguised, we were able to examine the uncovered car up close and personal. German advertising agency personnel confirmed the car was indeed the new 7 Series.

The images you see were snapped as the car was readied for transport at the end of the shoot.

The car (expected to be unveiled at September's Paris Show later this year -- at the earliest!) is a major departure from the current 7. Looking a class smaller but still a full-S-Class competitor, the new generation's styling is clearly linked to the Concept CS BMW displayed last year in Shanghai and showed locally at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

The South Yarra car's sharply angled headlights and flush, extended double-kidney grille are covered in the images we were able to capture. However, having seen the car undisguised we can vouch they are virtually a productionised version of the CS showcar's 'shark-like' front end.

The new 7's bonnet features a flat top and sharp shoulder 'crease' that make the guards looked even more 'pumped' than the current 5 Series. The lines and aggressive chamfer also cleverly disguise the pedestrian friendly height of the front-end.

At the back of the new 7, gone is the 'bustle bum.' Bangle's Bump is replaced by a cleaner, more conventional yet still high-decked look.

The tail lamps are sculptured tight to the curves of the rear corner panels and feature tightly grouped mini LEDs in their main 'working' zones. They also boast a group of ogee-shaped inner lamps that look like they are almost an interpretation of shark gills -- quite unique, in keeping with the CS theme, and spectacular when lit.

As can be seen clearly in the photos hereabouts, the side profile of the car is dominated by strong, rising twin character lines, the higher of which is 'exaggerated' into a ridge by the time it has passed the leading edge of the front door. This upper ridge bisects the door handles.

These are 'partnered' by a lower 'smile' (a la 1 Series) that produces dramatic light effects on the side of the car -- a trademark of the Bangle era BMWs.

Make no mistake; however, the new car signals a return to the wheel-at-each-corner look of the E38 7 Series and E39 5 Series. In fact, it is much more an evolution of the mid-90s BMW look than the current 'bloated' E65/66 7 Series.

The car we caught was diesel-powered. Though muted, the clatter was unmistakeable. It was very also much the finished item, with a complete interior, big brakes and handsome, finely spoked alloys -- 19 or 20-inch is our guess.

From a distance of around 6m we weren't able to see the fine detail of the interior, however, it appeared as though the twin-binnacle look of the current BMWs has been softened in the new car.

The Melbourne photo session is believed to be just part of the car's stint Down Under. Other locations chosen for the new 7's local modelling assignment include Sydney, Melbourne's Bolte Bridge and high-country resort, Falls Creek.


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Published : Sunday, 2 March 2008

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