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.