Refreshed with extra power, better interior tech, and a sharper style

BMW first revealed its full-size 7 Series luxury sedan in 1977, with the latest sixth-generation arriving in 2015 following a debut at the International Motor Show Germany. Now, it appears as though there’s a refreshed model just over the horizon, as confirmed in a series of spy photos that reveal a fresh camo-clad exterior and a revamped interior spec.

Update 5-16-2018: The BMW 7 Series is set to review its new face for the 2020 model year with mild changes inside and out. We’re getting another look at it, this time on the Nurburgring and on public streets where it was benchmarked against the current 7 Series. Check out the new photos in the special section below.

Testing on the ‘Ring and the Surrounding Area – 5-16-2018

2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 780663
2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 780669

As you can see, not a lot has changed up front. However, the front fascia has been more refined and moved closer to production as evidenced by the cutouts around the air intakes and the larger air dam opening. It’s still rocking the official headlights and taillights, but this time around we see the official, chrome exhaust outlets integrated into the rear fascia. Finally, it’s also wearing that fresh chrome trim around the windows and on the side view mirrors. It’s slated to be a 2020 model, so we could see it camo free by the late months of 2018 or the first few months of 2019.

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior Styling

- * Revamped exterior style keeps it feeling fresh
- * More aggressive M model fascia
- * Updated headlight housings are slimmer
- * Larger grille and reshaped intakes
- * Reshaped hood design
- * Active air flaps in the kidney grille
- * Wheel sizing between 18 and 20 inches in diameter
- * LED lighting front to back
- * Reshaped taillight housings
- * New trunk lid
- * Quad exhaust tips

2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 773610
Overall, the entire front end looks bigger than before, with a taller stance and a more squared shape.

As is tradition for a BMW refresh, the exterior gets a few tweaks here and there to keep it feeling new. These latest spy photos reveal where the 7 Series is headed in the aesthetics department, and appear as though they capture the full prototype model, as opposed to a test mule with new mechanical guts.

For starters, what we’re dealing with here is an M model by the look of it, as revealed by the tweaked front end. Updates heading into the 2020 model year will include a larger grille, slimmer headlight housings, and revised intakes in the fascia. The hood also looks a bit different from before. Overall, the entire front end looks bigger than before, with a taller stance and a more squared shape.

What’s more, the kidney grille appears as though it gets standard active air vents, which will help to improve aerodynamics and overall fuel efficiency when cruising.

In the corners, we’re expecting a new line of designs for the alloy wheels. Sizing will range between 18 and 20 inches in diameter.

Moving to the rear, we find revised taillight housings, which stretch in from the rear quarter panels and into the trunk. LED lighting elements will take a spot back here, as well as in the new headlight housings up front.

Completing the restyled appearance is a new trunk lid and a quad exhaust set-up.

2020 BMW 7 Series Interior Design

- * More or less the same interior design as before
- * Wide, horizontal lines throughout
- * High-end materials throughout
- * Nappa leather upholstery
- * 10-inch display screen on the dash
- * New three-spoke multifunction steering wheel design
- * New all-digital gauge cluster
- * Tech like gesture control, HUD, and Bluetooth support
- * Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay
- * Should get cutting-edge autonomous tech
- * Both SWB and LWH variants will be offered

2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 773607
Despite its similarities to the current model, the 2020 BMW 7 Series will definitely come with at least a few upgrades.

Moving inside the cabin, we find a familiar sight. As evidenced by the spy shots, the new 7 Series’ cabin isn’t all that different from that of the preceding model, with broad horizontal surfaces stretching from door to door, enhancing the sense of width for the passengers. Top-shelf materials are everywhere, with sumptuous leather added to the seats, dash, and door panels, while brushed metal surrounds and wood trim complement the spec.

On top of the dash is the primary infotainment screen, measuring in at a little over 10 inches, below which is a set of HVAC vents and a two-tier set of hard buttons and knobs. The central tunnel continues on as before, with the tray and cupholders hidden by a sliding panel, as well as a unique gear shifter and rotary control.

Despite its similarities to the current model, the 2020 BMW 7 Series will definitely come with at least a few upgrades. For example, the steering wheel design is new, with a three-spoke layout punctuated by thumb-length buttons at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions.

2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 773606
The cluster will be all-digital for 2020, replacing the physical needles and driver’s information screen on the current model.

Most notable is the new gauge cluster behind that redesigned steering wheel. The cluster will be all-digital for 2020, replacing the physical needles and driver’s information screen on the current model with a large rectangular screen. The cluster design appears to take its cues from the 8 Series Concept, and will make the interior a much clearer competitor against the likes of Mercedes and Audi.

Onboard tech should also be plentiful. In addition to Apple CarPlay support, the 2020 BMW 7 Series should also incorporate Amazon Alexa for extra vehicle-to-home and home-to-vehicle features. Also don’t forget tech stuff like a full-color heads-up display, Bluetooth support, gesture control, and other features carried over from the current model, not to mention a variety of features relayed via the digital screen in the key fob (self-parking, etc.).

It would also be nice if Bimmer threw in some high-tech autonomous features to compete with the new Audi A8. The 7 Series already includes stuff like Dynamic Cruise Control and an Active Driving Assistant with Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, so it shouldn’t be too much of a leap to upgrade even further.

Finally, we expect BMW to offer both a long wheelbase and short wheelbase iteration of the 7 Series, depending on the market that is.

2020 BMW 7 Series Drivetrain And Performance

- * Same engines as before
- * Bit more power, bit less gas used
- * Base model gets turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder
- * Mid-grade gets twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8
- * Hybrid combines a turbo 2.0-liter ‘four with an electric motor
- * Hybrid should get considerable EV range improvements
- * Range-topper gets a turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12
- * RWD as standard lower in the range, AWD optional
- * Eight-speed automatic transmission should carry over

2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 773617
We’re thinking around 335 horsepower for the base model in 2020.

When it comes to the motivation, the 2020 BMW 7 Series will carryover its current engine lineup, but tweak and tune each package to produce a bit more power and sip a bit less gas.

Let’s start at the bottom and work our way off, kicking things off with the base model 740i. Take a peek behind the kidney grille on this one, and you’ll discover a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder, which on the current model produces 320 horsepower. We’re thinking around 335 horsepower makes sense for 2020. Both RWD and xDrive AWD will be offered.

Up next is the mid-grade 750i, which ditches the ‘six in favor of a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8. For now, the ‘eight makes 445 horsepower, but an extra 20 ponies for 465 total sounds about right for 2020. Again, RWD will be standard, while AWD will be extra.

2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 773620
We hear rumors Bimmer will throw in a sizable new battery pack for a hybrid model, boosting EV mode range and peak output as well.

Then there’s the hybrid model, also known as the 740e, which sports a plug-in powertrain producing upwards of 322 horsepower thanks to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and electric motor combo. We hear rumors Bimmer will throw in a sizable new battery pack for this one, boosting all-electric range and power as well. Currently producing a combined 322 horses, the 2020 740e could see an upgrade to as much as 390 ponies, which is a rather massive boost, all things considered. AWD will be the only drivetrain configuration on offer.

Finally, sitting at the top of the heap, we have the go-faster M760i, which asserts its dominance thanks to a turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12 and standard AWD. Current output is rated at 601 horsepower, but considering the niche segment that the ’12 plays in, we wouldn’t expect too much of an upgrade for this powertrain - maybe a few extra ponies and mpg, but not much more than that.

The current eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission should continue on unaltered.

2020 BMW 7 Series Prices

2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 779245

If all goes according to plan, the model featured here will likely sell for the 2020 model year, with production ramping up in March of 2019.

When it comes to the price tag, the 2020 7 Series should stay roughly at the same spot as before, starting at $83,650 for the base model 740i. Upgrade to the V-8-powered 750i, and expect to shell out at least $96,950, while the 740e goes for $90,700. Finally, the top-dog M760i sells for $156,700.

2020 BMW 7 Series Competition

Audi A8

2018 Audi A8 Exterior High Resolution
- image 722772

Audi’s player in the full-size sedan segment is the A8, which arrives to the party wearing a handsome exterior complete with sharp headlight housings, chromed trim, and a sizable Singleframe grille. Power is provided by either a 3.0-liter V-6 or a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, while a hybrid highlights the list of upcoming upgrades. AWD is standard, as is a set of air dampers and an eight-speed transmission. Adaptive suspension is optional. Pricing starts at $82,500.

Read our full review of the 2018 Audi A8.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
- image 774851

Merc’s big four-door is definitely a hot competitor for BMW, bringing the sort of top-shelf panache you’d expect from Merc’s four-door flagship. Providing the motivation is either a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 or a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, with a nine-speed automatic transmission sending power aft as standard. AWD is optional, while high-tech self-driving features and a lovely interior spec keep it in the running against its German rivals. Pricing starts at $89,900.

Read our full review of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.


2020 BMW 7 Series
- image 773605
The real question is what we’ll see in terms of autonomous tech for the 2020 model year.

While other brands cut their affordable four-door offerings down to the bare minimum, the high-end luxury segment continues on without much of a hiccup. As such, these top-shelf titans represent the very latest when it comes to infotainment technology, refinement, and opulence, and the 2020 BMW 7 Series is no different.

Of course, that’s to be expected. The real question is what we’ll see in terms of autonomous tech for the 2020 model year, as the robo chauffeur is undoubtedly the finishing line for these high-end luxury cruisers. Where will Bimmer stand against the likes of Merc and Audi? Only time will tell.

  • Leave it
    • * Audi may have BMW beat on the autonomous front
    • * Optional equipment makes the 7 Series very expensive


2016 BMW 7 Series High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 633462

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 7 Series.

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior High Resolution
- image 718020

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 8 Series Concept.

no article
- image 741745

Read more BMW news.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: