Though the end times are clearly upon us as BMW begins putting front-wheel drive cars on the market, they aren't giving up on the people who enjoy power that goes to the correct set of wheels. And the next BMW 7-Series will be the future of their rear-drive cars.
Modular platforms like Volkswagen's MQB architecture are all the rage these days, and Automotive News reports that BMW will do the same with a new rear-wheel drive scalable architecture called "35up." Does it mean 3, 5 and up? That would be my guess, considering it will underpin the 3-Series, 5-Series, 6-Series, 7-Series and others.
Autonews says the new platform will debut on the next-generation 7-Series sedan, due out in late 2015 or early 2016. And then its guts will form the basis of many other cars, much like the Mini-derived UKL platform will underpin the front-drive BMWs like the next 1-Series sedan. That car will compete with the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3.
BMW's flagship hasn't been competitive with the high-tech and sleekly styled new Mercedes-Benz S class sedan. BMW hopes to remedy shortfalls of today's heavy and aging 7-series sedan with a redesign that will debut at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show and go on sale in the United States in late 2015 or early 2016.
The 7-series sedan will be the first car to use BMW's new 35up lightweight scalable architecture. The body will move from all-steel to carbon fiber and aluminum to reduce weight and improve driving dynamics. The roof, hood and trunk lids will use carbon fiber, according to reports.
That report details some of BMW's future plans, some of which are awesome (an M7 is apparently under serious consideration to fight the S-Class AMG) and meh (the bulbous 5-Series GT is somehow not dead even though no one bought it).
Modular platform all the things!