The fifth-generation of BMW’s flagship 7 Series sedan arrives on U.S. shores in spring 2009, but the German automaker has already lifted the veil of secrecy surrounding its design and technology. The new 7 is accentuated by a more subdued interpretation of Chris Bangle’s “flame surfacing” design theme, using subtly swung contours and lines. For the first time, the 7’s front side panels will feature a chrome grille that incorporates the side marker lamps; the roofline flows over the flanks all the way to the bumpers for a sporting appeal. To reduce weight and lower CO2 emissions, the new 7 utilizes multi-phase and hot-rolled steels in the body and chassis’ load-bearing structures: aluminum is used to construct the roof, doors, hood and fenders, along with the front spring towers, engine block and differential housing. Innovation continues inside, with the use of a high-resolution LCD black panel display for the entire cluster, complete with BMW’s traditional four dial instrumentation; a console mounted gear changer positioned close to the iDrive controller.