The technology BMW developed for the i3 and i8 models ail benefit one particular future car, the next generation 7 Series full-size luxury sedan.

Before we look into the future for an in-depth analysis of the 7, let's turn our attention to Nover 2008, when the 5th generation F01/F02 went on sale. Here was a car that spelled the end for the ugly Bangle era design and made this car an executive once again. Aluminum block diesels and twin-turbo V8 made this the choice for people who wanted more driving thrills than the rival Mercedes S-Class could offer.

Even though a facelift for the 7 Series was introduced last year, Mercedes will step up its game, launching the new S-Class in Stuttgart shortly, and judging from the interior and exterior photos we have at our disposal, BMW is in for a fight.

Their new flagship sedan is scheduled to arrive in 2015, but the German automaker is already hard at work developing all the new technologies that will eventually trickle down to other Bimmers. The 6th generation 7 Series is being developed under the internal code-name G11 and is still in the early prototype phases.

Some of the body panels on this prototype, which was spotted testing on a frozen lake in Scandinavia, actually belong to the current 7 Series. But the car will be much different under the skin.

Lightness Is the 7 Series' Middle Name

Coincidently, 2015 is also the year when European emissions watch dogs force the new EU6 standards. But the G11 7 Series should have no problem meeting them. BMW is a pioneer in using plastics for body panels, but the next luxury saloon will also have carbon fiber and lots of aluminum, used throughout the chassis. Judging from the way they've used it so far, carbon fiber will most likely be used for the roof and hood. Weight savings could be as high as 200 kg (440 lbs), though most will offer a little bit less than that.

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Spyshots: 2016 G11 BMW 7 Series Sedan

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