Restyled BMW flagship takes on the 'Ring sporting a distinctive new face

Sometimes facelifts are subtle affairs, and others they're all about shouting just how new everything is. The upcoming BMW 7 Series looks as though it will fall into the latter category.

Thanks to the X7 Concept, and the recently unveiled next-generation X5, we knew the Bavarian automaker is keen on super-sizing its double-kidney grille, especially for high-end models.

Until now, prototypes of the 7 Series 'life cycle impulse' have hid just how impressively large the facelifted car's grille will be. Other significant changes include new headlamps, tail-lights, bonnet, and more aggressively styled front and rear fascias.

Although the company has yet to announce any official details of the forthcoming update, we expect the updated 7 Series to sport revised drivetrains.

The recently unveiled 8 Series will be powered by a new variant of the company's 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 390kW of power and 750Nm of torque. Paired with standard all-wheel drive, the new M850i xDrive has a 3.7s 0-100km/h time. We'd suggest a variation of that setup could pop up in the 7er, although its performance remains to be seen.

A report in Autocar claims the updated range will also feature a more powerful plug-in hybrid variant. Said to be called the 745e, it will boast around 300kW of power, and replace the current range's 240kW 740e iPerformance.

Inside the cabin there should be the usual round of trim and specification updates. The company's latest iDrive infotainment system, and the latest generation of BMW's fully digital instrumentation also seem to be a good bet.