After years of reports and rumors, BMW has officially confirmed today that the next-generation 7 Series will offer an all-electric version. We’ve been covering the topic for quite some time now and even shared some exclusive “rumors.”
“ I can tell you officially today: That our BMW 7 Series flagship will be one of them,” says Oliver Zipse, BMW CEO. “The next-generation 7 Series will be available with four drive train variants: petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric. All drive trains will be based on a single architecture. And the top, most powerful 7 Series will be fully electric!”
Basically, this statement reinforces our previous reports. Firstly, BMW will drop the V12 from its lineup. This has been already hinted at in the past few months and it’s a certainty now. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, considering the stringent CO2 emission regulations and the direction of the company. Secondly, the V12-like power will be now coming from a hybrid drivetrain.
While BMW has not officially confirmed that, our sources hint at a combination of a V8 TwinTurbo engine and one or more electric motors. So that brings us to the topic of the most powerful 7 Series coming in the next generation.
The G70/G71 will have a top model tuned by the M Division. While it won’t be a full-fledged M car, it will follow the same lines as the current BMW M760Li. But now comes the catch. Our sources say that the current working name for this model is Mi7 which makes sense considering the current nomenclature. Clearly, the name will attract some interesting non-automotive comparisons, but it’s still quite catchy and intriguing.
As far as the drivetrain, sources tell us it will have at least 650 HP and a battery over 100 kWh that should allow it to cover up to 400 miles (640 km) on a single charge. It’s possible that the power output will be even higher considering BMW actually showcased a 5 Series prototype fitted with electric motors and capable of delivering 750 HP.
The upcoming BMW X8 with its M and M Performance Automobile variants should give us a better idea on what to expect in the next-gen 7 Series.
Certainly, we will all miss the 6.0 liter V12 with its amazing power and acoustics, but the automotive world is moving on from large displacements engines and into more efficient and green powertrains. The BMW M760Li is the last of its kind and is quite a marvelous car.