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by Tim Beissmann

BMW’s all-new ‘35up’ large rear-wheel-drive platform will debut beneath the next-generation 7 Series in 2015 before rolling out across a host of models later this decade.

Automotive News reports the new BMW 7 Series and its 35up lightweight scalable architecture will debut at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show next September.

The overhauled 7 Series’ body will shift from a steel construction to a mix of carbonfibre and aluminium to reduce weight and enhance driving dynamics as the Bavarian car maker targets the benchmark limousine, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The 7 Series will take design cues from the Vision Future Luxury concept (above and below) that appeared at April’s Beijing auto show. It will remain a sedan only, however, with the rumoured 9 Series coupe reportedly killed off by BMW.

A plug-in hybrid variant will be offered, while BMW is also said to be considering a high-performance ‘M7’ for the first time to compete with Mercedes’ S-Class AMG models.

BMW-Vision-Future-Luxury-2

The new 7 Series will be followed approximately 18 months by the new 5 Series, which will be the second car based on the 35up platform. It too will feature a high proportion of carbonfibre and aluminium in its construction, as well as high-strength steel.

The 5 Series will also inherit semi-autonomous driving technologies from the 7 Series.

It’s tipped to go on sale by early 2017, with the sleeker, new-generation 5 Series GT to arrive up to 12 months later.

The same platform will also underpin the next generations of the 3, 4 and 6 Series models.

The all-new seven-seat BMW X7 will become the largest model in the brand’s SUV family when it launches by 2018. The US-built SUV will be a size larger than the X5 and will rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and the Range Rover.

BMW-X1-1

BMW’s smaller vehicles will be based on the front-wheel-drive UKL platform that is shared with Mini and debuts for the German company beneath the 2 Series Active Tourer MPV.

The second-generation X1 (above) will make the shift from rear- to front-wheel drive when it launches next year, allowing its exterior dimensions to shrink while growing inside.

The new 1 Series hatchback will make a similar transition, adopting the front-drive underpinnings of the new compact architecture. The new hatch will be preceded in about 2017 by a 1 Series sedan, which will target the Audi A3 sedan and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

As reported yesterday, the new-generation BMW Z4 is currently being developed alongside a 21st century Toyota Supra successor, with the duo expected to be ready to roll around 2018.




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