While details continue to emerge out of Germany on the next generation 7 it is apparent that this car is being designed to out drive and out tech the competition. The latest spy photos have shown a vast majority of the side profile and the overall massive size of this vehicle.

The latest photos come via Ebay of Germany; anyone need a front bumper for their F01 7er? (Our sources have made it clear to us that this color will not be offered!)

We have come to learn that the official press release will be in July (07.07 we have been told), production will indeed start in September. The “official ” world premiere will be Paris 2008 in October. It will hit showrooms in very late October early November.

The car is HUGE! The Short Wheel Base (SWB) F01 is about 10cm (4 inches) longer than the current car (E65), and has a longer wheelbase (14cm = approx. 5.5 inches). So, F01 is only a tad shorter than the current E66 (Long wheel base).

The newest BMW models are engineered with run-flats in mind, this will continue in the F01, the F02 (the long wheel base 7) may receive the newer PAX run-flats used on Rolls Royce models. The new double wishbone suspension has been designed with run-flats and is calibrated for them. The suspension will also include Dynamic Drive version 2.0 (the latest active suspension). The F01 will be a sportier driving car with a low center of gravity while the F02 will be softer and more comfort designed. Both cars will be sportier in drive than the current model it replaces.

BMW is determined to make this car to be the ultimate benchmark in driving dynamics in the segment. Some Dynamic Drive features said to appear in the new 7 include: new front & rear active suspension (based on FlexRay protocol), Adaptive Drive v2.0 (EDC + ARS), air-suspension, Active steering v2.0 (includingAll Wheel Steering), Dynamic Performance Control rear differential, DSC ++ (next gen.), and other alphabet coded features.

All Wheel Steering will in fact make its way into the 7 much to the chagrin of BMW enthusiasts out there. It will be part of the Active Steering system on a specific model, most indications point to the land yacht F02. This will make parallel parking the behemoth a bit easier and allow it to make a K-turn on city streets if necessary. Of course it will also add yet more weight to the beast.

Our original sources did not indicate this feature would make it out of testing, we apologize for being late to that party. It ‘s worth noting that we are an enthusiast site and not particularly excited about something that makes it slightly easier to pull into tight spots at the neighborhood Nordstroms. However the more exciting fact is that xDrive will make its way into the 7 making those in snowy areas less likely to opt for a car shod with the four rings this time around.

There will be a variety of engines offered including the N74 which is the engine code for the newest Twin Turbo V12. Some information also indicates that a naturally aspirated direct inject 4.4l V8 will be offered. As we had discussed before Hybrids will also be available but not at the initial launch. The ZF 8 speed will of course be the mode of gear selection.

BMW ‘s of the future will be “mobile communication ” statements in both exterior and interior the next generation iDrive is said to start this trend. We have shown you many photos of the newer controller and the scroll wheel that will be standard on the steering wheel. What we just learned is that the system will be connected to the cars HUD. This will happen first in the next generation of the 7er which, as one BMW engineer has said, will make the S-Class technology look like DOS. The 7 will be connected to the internet and utilize Connected Drive. The screen is to be a higher resolution LCD and an LCD similar to the S-Class will be utilized in the gauge cluster. Sources have also indicated that the system will be based on a hard disc that can be updated by a high-speed USB 2.0 port, or by using the DVD drive. This makes updates easier and possibly even from your own home.

Some of the spy photos do a good job at showing the exterior lines of the car but once again there are some interesting technologies. The next generation xenon adaptive lights with CELIS LED coronas (angel eyes) are brighter in the latest spy shots in order to meet some countries day time running light requirements.

Initially slightly different designs were tested for F01 & F02, mainly different side skirts, front & rear bumper, different grille, standard chrome vs black chrome trim. We have heard that the cars will differ in trim only, yet the initial proposed design (more aggressive) for the F01 will be introduced as an optional M-package, not standard as first planned. This package will be introduced a year after launch although we haven ‘t confirmed if it ‘s destined for the US market. There will be chrome door handles and on specific 7er models dark chrome trim will be a feature (F01 with sport package).

According to our sources BMW has done almost three times as much testing with F01 /F02 as they did it with E65 / E66. This, and the fact electronic systems & protocols are much more common & tested as they were in 2001, can tell you BMW is trying to make F01 trouble-proof as much as possible.To do that they even prolonged pre-production version testing phase for 3 months! We can only hope they worked the gremlins out of the car; unlike the initial launch of the E65.

Our sources reminded us of something we had forgotten as well. At IAA in 2003, BMW launched the X3, the 6er Coupe and the 545i all at the same show (launches here people, launches). What you can infer from this is that even though the F01/02 are new designs they are evolutionary in design so do not be surprised to see other cars introduced and launched alongside (3er facelift would be our bet).

The car has already commenced photo shoots and filming around the world, it has been down under, visited the Kiwis, toured Wall Street, California and is now completing its tour in Cape Town. There have been several completely unveiled showings, including at Geneva for VIPs and thus far it has been well received. Expect a few more spy shots in the next several days then a lack of info until just before the press release in July.

Look here for past entries on the F01