The rear/semi-profile in some pics looks VERY Lexus LS460/LS600h. Profile though looks like a streched 5 Series, and I personally don't see much change in the headlights. I guess no change in the headlights is a GOOD thing, as they could have made them look like Dame Edna, like in the current 5er. The rear end does not looks as elegant, expensive as in the current/face lifted 7er. I think the A8 Audi and MBZ S-Class looks better in the rear.
Conservative changes, but I think I like the double kidney grill better in the current 7 Series. Not bad though. Hey with BMW designers, it could be much worse!!! Nice post Dan.