Green Bimmer Flagship No Longer Unconfirmed
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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- Arthur Dailey Ford was on a roll with these large cars. The 'aircraft' inspired instrument 'pod' for the driver rather than the 'flat' instrument panel. Note that this vehicle does not have the clock. The hands and numbers are missing. Having the radio controls on the left side of the driver could however be infuriating. Although I admire pop-up/hideaway headlights, Ford's vacuum powered system was indeed an issue. If I left my '78 T-Bird parked for more than about 12 hours, there was a good chance that when I returned the headlight covers had retracted. The first few times this happened it gave me a 'start' as I feared that I may have left the lights on and drained the battery.
- Jeff S Still a nice car and I remember these very well especially in this shade of green. The headlights were vacuum controlled. I always liked the 67 thru 72 LTDs after that I found them bloated. Had a friend in college with a 2 door 71 LTD which I drove a couple of times it was a nice car.
- John H Last week after 83 days, dealership said mine needs new engine now. They found metal in oil. Potential 8 to 9 month wait.
- Dukeisduke An aunt and uncle of mine traded their '70 T-Bird (Beakbird) for a brand-new dark metallic green '75 LTD two-door, fully loaded. My uncle hated seat belts, so the first time I saw the car (it was so new that the '75 models had just landed at the dealerships) he proudly showed me how he'd pulled the front seat belts all the way out of their retractors, and cut the webbing with a razor blade(!).Just a year later, they traded it in for a new '76 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (they had owned a couple of Imperials in the '60s), and I imagine the Cadillac dealer took a chunk out to the trade-in, to get the front seat belts replaced.
- CaddyDaddy Lease fodder that in 6 years will be on the 3rd owner in a poverty bound aspirational individual's backyard in a sub par neighborhood sinking into the dirt. The lending bank will not even want to repossess and take possession of this boat anchor of a toxic waste dump. This proves that EVs are not even close to being ready for prime time (let's not even talk about electrical infrastructure). EVs only exist in wildly expensive virtue signaling status-mobiles. FAIL! I know this is a Hybrid, but it's a Merc., so it will quickly die after the warranty. Show me a practical EV for the masses and I'll listen. At this time, Hybrids are about the way to go for most needing basic transportation.