By on March 18, 2020

It was hardly much of a secret, but BMW’s development of a fully electric 7 Series sedan is now officially confirmed. In comments made Wednesday at a financial press conference in Germany, BMW boss Oliver Zipse ushered the long-rumored sedan into the realm of reality.

The coronavirus pandemic may have Europe in a near-lockdown, but brighter days lie ahead. Eventually. And when it reaches that point, Bimmer will have to contend not just with zealous regulators, but slinky rivals, as well.

“The new targets set by legislators in Europe mean — more or less — that electrified vehicles must account for around 40 percent of sales by 2030,” Zipse said. As such, his company plans to diversify its powertrain options. The upcoming X3, he noted, can be had in four flavors: diesel, gas-only, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric (iX3).

It seems there’s a market for electrification, as Zipse said one in ten BMWs sold in January and February was some form of hybrid or EV. Soon, the iX3 crossover and i4 sedan will hit the market, followed, Zipse revealed, by a brawny green flagship.

“The next-generation 7 Series will be available with four drive train variants: petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric,” he said, confirming the model. “All drive trains will be based on a single architecture. And the top, most powerful 7 Series will be fully electric!”

A report last September suggested the 7 Series EV will bow with battery packs of 100 or 120 kWh and combined electric motor output of up to 760 horsepower. This jibes with Zipse’s remarks. The vehicle may carry the i7 name.

Once on the market (BMW’s top executive did not reveal a launch date, though the current-gen car’s successor is expected in late 2022), the mainly silent 7 Series will have no shortage of competition. Forget offerings from Tesla and Porsche; Mercedes-Benz’s EQS and the revamped, electric Jaguar XJ will provide ample rivalry.

Elsewhere in the lineup, plug-in hybrids are the main focus. Boosting the PHEV mix is key to Bimmer’s electrified ambitions (it envisions drawing half of its sales from electrified vehicles by 2030), and Zipse said to expect plug-in variants of the X1, X2, and 3 Series Touring (wagon). Mild hybrid technology will apply a light shade of green to the marque’s remaining gas-only cars, Zipse said.

[Image: BMW AG]

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4 Comments on “Green Bimmer Flagship No Longer Unconfirmed...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric”

    Why? Diesel is dead/dying, and plug-in hybrids are more niche-y than EVs. That’s a lot of wasted engineering effort; US 7-Series sales last year were 8800 units – yay.

    “battery packs of 100 or 120 kWh”

    A flagship shouldn’t have such closely-spaced variants. Since it’s not a Tesla, they’ll probably only get ~250 miles from that 100 kWh pack.

    • 0 avatar

      PHEV makes a lot of sense for some European drivers who can avoid a congestion charge by switching to electric-only mode in city centers.

      Honestly, in this class where price is less of a concern, I’m surprised they are bothering with gas- or diesel-only variants. I’d expect only PHEV and full electric.

  • avatar

    End of Tesla? I mean, they better now concentrate on cheap models

  • avatar

    Germans, Germans. They just cannot say goodbye to ICE. It will be very long and painful transition. Personally me – I would not like my car being associated with similar ICE car in any shape or form. 7 series stinks ICE fumes. BMW has give it real name.

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