The next 7-Series could say goodbye to its current bluff-sided barge proportions. According to the latest renderings, a lower, wider, larger car swoops up from a front that takes cues from the CS concept to a rear in which there are no remaining traces of the Bangle Butt.

We have always been fans of the 7-Series, and would greatly welcome a return to elegance -- even if it's the brutish elegance of this rendering. We would also welcome a new interior, and word is that it will be equally redone. And that (pesky) iDrive? The annoying knob will be made ever more user friendly we're told, which shouldn't be too difficult considering the starting point. It appears the last user friendly upgrade to the iDrive wasn't as friendly as BMW thought. This time it will also get Google Maps and iPhone connectivity. Intriguingly, the gear shift could return to the center console instead of being on the steering column stalk.

Engines will start out at 3.0 liters (probably gas and diesel variants, but still not for the States, most likely), jump to a V8 with a 47-HP boost over the current model, and top out at an even more powerful 6.0-liter V12. Expect the car to debut next year as a 2009 model, so we should see its debut at an auto show early in the season.

[Source: eGM Car Tech]