We've seen literally thousands of camouflaged prototypes over the years, but we can't remember the last time we were this curious to find out what's hiding under the disguise. The next-generation BMW 7 Series has been caught once more, hinting at a completely redesigned exterior concealed under many layers of camouflage.
The silver lining is the prototype does have a tad less camo than before, revealing a section of its interesting front bumper as well as the bottom half of the large kidney grilles. Oddly enough, BMW mounted the license plate up high where you'd normally expect to find the corporate badge. Those simple headlights are likely provisional as they seem to have a basic look, but the original 8 Series-esque placement and shape is likely the final one.
Gallery: 2023 BMW 7 Series new spy shots
As to why the number plate sits above the headlights, your guess is as good as ours. We're fairly certain it won't be there on the production model as that would look downright odd. This bumper design with thin vertical slats does seem to make it hard to mount a number plate, so maybe it will be affixed to the grille like on some of the latest BMWs, including the new 4 Series Gran Coupe, iX, and the M3/M4.
Mismatched wheels are not that uncommon on work-in-progress vehicles, but what is special about this prototype are the cameras sticking out of the front wings/fenders. White stickers mimicking a door handle design have been slapped onto the camouflage right above the actual door handles, which seem to resemble those of the iX electric SUV.
Judging by the regular size of the rear doors, it appears we are dealing with a standard-wheelbase 7 Series. At the back, a subtle trunk lid spoiler suggests it might be a sporty version of BMW's flagship, which would explain the newly designed quad exhausts featuring more angular finishers. As for the taillights, those are placeholders as well and appear to be continuing on the boot lid since we can see a couple of bulges.
Tiny rivets on many parts of the body indicate the 7 Series prototype has more than just one layer of disguise, so it's best not to jump to any conclusions about the car's exterior appearance. It certainly looks interesting from just about any angle and we're hoping BMW will remove more disguise sooner rather than later.
Previous spy shots have revealed the already confirmed fully electric version will feature the same shape and design, which means the i7 (name not confirmed) will be based on the conventionally powered 7 Series. In terms of horsepower, the zero-emissions saloon could sit at the top of the food chain and indirectly replace the M760i as the V12 is on its way out. We're hearing the M-badged electric 7 Series will pack as much as 650 bhp, but nothing is official at this point.
It’s going to be a long wait before the next 7 Series will hit the streets as production reportedly won't start until July next year. That said, logic tells us an official reveal is going to take place sooner, and while the interior is also a mystery, the side-by-side screen setup seen in the i4 and iX will likely be installed in the 7er as well.