Although the latest 7 Series was only launched in 2015, all of its mainstream luxury competitors have been refreshed or renewed since then.
The mid-cycle update, or life change impulse (LCI) if you speak fluent Bavarian, seems to include new headlamps, bumpers and grille, probably with a sportier design than today's car.
Out the rear, the prototype seems to feature thinner outboard tail-lights that don't quite line up with the stock boot taken straight from production car.
As is common, expect to see new colour offerings and alloy wheel designs to appear alongside the revised front and rear ends.
A revised infotainment system, and extra safety kit seem almost certain. With Audi's latest A8 featuring level three autonomous driving capability, it's entirely probable the updated flagship BMW will offer something similar.
Under the bonnet, detail changes to the 7 Series' selection of powertrains should see improvements to both performance and fuel economy.
It's not known for sure when the updated 7 Series will officially be launched. For the past few generations, facelifts have appeared during the car's fourth year in production, making a 2019 debut or on-sale date likely.