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For those who have been wondering when and where lightning-rod designer Chris Bangle will surface again, Automotive News has some scuttlebutt for you. According to the industry publication, the controversial BMW stylist has some plans of his own – for a new design studio.

We just showed you spy shots of a heavily disguised 7-series a couple of weeks ago, but here is an artist's interpretation of the new 7 in the raw. With an oh-so-sexy 6-series nose grafted to the formidable sedan, it makes quite an impression. Losing some of the flame-surfacing that Chris Bangle has made into a household joke name, at least among car geeks, the more subtly styled 7 appears to be taking the more conservative road, leaving rival Mercedes alone on the cutting edge, or the cutting r