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by Brett Davis

The next-generation BMW 7-Series is set to feature carbon fibre in its construction as the German manufacturer seeks to make its flagship limousine stronger and lighter.

Speaking with Autocar, BMW head of research and development Klaus Draeger said the new model will feature carbon fibre as well as aluminium and steel. The lightweight materials are not only expected to improve fuel efficiency, but also allow for increased acceleration and handling performance.

Specific areas that will be made using carbon are not finalised, but it is believed major panels such as the bonnet, roof and boot lid could be made of the high-strength fibre. The new 7-Series isn’t expected to be released until 2015.

Carbon fibre is set to be used in more BMW vehicles in the future, including the super-frugal BMW i3 and i8 supercar, as well as more mainstream models.

The German auto giant recently signed a deal with SGL Automotive Carbon Fibres, a manufacturing firm specialising in large quantity carbon production. BMW is hoping to reduce overall manufacturing costs through new mass-production processes with SGL.

  • MisterZed

    BMW still make a 7-series?  I must have forgotten – you see so few in Australia.

  • Springvale Boi

    Carbon fibre is stronger. But it is crunchy and brittle. In an impact, it will shatter to bits, just like carbon fibre drive shafts.

    • f1fanatic

      No wonder then that they make F1 cars out of them.

      • Springvale Boi

        “In the McLaren F1 GTR racing car of the mid-’90s, although the car had a completely CF tub, they used steel for the cage. They also use CF tubs with steel cages in DTM today.

        If your have an accident and roll 4 times with a steel cage, however bent and battered the cage becomes with each impact, it will still offer a good proportion of it’s original strength in each consecutive roll.A carbon fibre cage would offer excellent strength in the first impact, but because it is brittle and has a composite structure it would be little more that a bucket of shards by the time you hit the ground the 4th time.”