The redesigned 2016 BMW 7 Series is set to go on sale this fall and promises to set new heights in technology, comfort and performance. Undoubtedly, the flagship of BMW will feature a number of innovations that will have competitors playing catchup. What isn’t visible to the naked eye are the steps BMW engineers took to shed nearly 290 pounds off the new 7 Series compared to the previous generation.
Two years ago BMW invested $200 million to triple carbon fiber production at its dedicated factory in Moses Lake, Washington. Carbon fiber and carbon fiber reinforced plastic, a lightweight composite that combines the best features of both materials, is used extensively in the i3 and i8. Now the new 7 Series uses enough carbon fiber material in place of heavier metals such that 88 pounds was saved.
The car’s Carbon Core body construction integrates carbon fiber with aluminum and high-tensile steel for greater structural rigidity. Aluminum doors and trunk lid also help lighten the load.
An additional 132 pounds was saved by reducing the weight of varied components like seat frames, wheels, suspension and brakes. Wrapping the engine and transmission in sound absorbing material allowed another 22 pound weight saving by changing the acoustic insulation materials in the cabin, engine compartment and trunk.
The combined weight saving measures contribute to a weight loss of up to 286 pounds over the old 7 Series, a lower center of gravity, and 15 percent reduction in unsprung mass. While many drivers may not appreciate all the effort that has gone into making the 2016 BMW 7 Series more svelte, they will definitely appreciate the luxury sedan’s ride, responsiveness and agility on the road.
Prefer more performance over luxury? Check out the full performance test of the 2015 BMW X6 M here: