Green Bimmer Flagship No Longer Unconfirmed

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Slavuta Slavuta on Mar 18, 2020

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

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Mar 18, 2020

    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.

  • EBFlex More proof of how much EVs suck. If you have to do this, that means you are trying to substitute what people want...and that's ICE.
  • Akear The only CEO who can save Boeing, GM, and Ford is Alan Mulally. Mulally is largely credited with saving both Boeing and Ford. The other alternative is to follow a failed Jack Welch business model. We have all witnessed what Jack Welch did to GE, and what happened to Boeing when it was taken over by GE-trained businessmen. Below is an interesting article on how Jack Welch indirectly ruined Boeing.
  • ChristianWimmer The interior might be well-made, but the design is just hideous in my opinion. It’s to busy and there’s no simplistic harmony visible in it. In fact I feel that the nicest Lexus interior ever could be found in the original LS400 - because it was rather minimalistic, had pleasing lines and didn’t try to hard. It looked just right. All Lexus interiors which came after it just had bizarre styling cues and “tried to hard” if you know what I mean.
  • THX1136 As a couple of folks have mentioned wasn't this an issue with the DeLorean? I seem to recall that it was claimed you could do a 'minor' buff of the surface and it would be good as new. Guess I don't see why it's a big deal if it can be so easily rectified. Won't be any different than getting out and waxing the car every so often - part of ownership, eh.
  • ToolGuy This kind of thing might be interesting in a racing simulator.