Update – New details on the BMW ‘Mi7’ performance electric variant added to the base of this story.
Today we’re able to see fresh photos of the prototypes of the next generation BMW 7 Series on global auto media sites. These are what testers call ‘chassis mules’ where the core mechanical and electrical components of the car enter the testing phase. With the vehicle so early in development, the design of the car would not be finalized.
Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW, has confirmed that BMW will introduce the electric variant of the 7 Series in the next generation and that the most powerful variant of the next-gen 7er would be the EV.
BMW i4 previews 4 design elements to adorn the BMW i7
It is expected that the first full body prototypes of the next-generation BMW 7 Series will hit the testing circuit in 6-8 months. Additionally, it is reported that BMW could pull the covers off the BMW i7, the fully-electric variant in 2022. Here are the four design elements that will be seen on the BMW i7:
1. The uneasily large Kidney Grille that BMW calls its ‘intelligence panel’
One thing is certain – we’ll be seeing the evolution of the uneasily large kidney grille of the BMW i4 on the i7, the blanked-off grille that the company now refers to as the ‘intelligence panel’ consisting of sensors and electronics.
2. Aero work with cleverly designed body parts
The BMW i7 is expected with clear surfaces to improve air flow around the car. Clear aero lips, mouldings to the skirts concealing the battery technology, and rear diffuser elements that fill the design space opened up by the exhaust pipes are a few examples of how aerodynamic efficiency is improved.
3. Four-eyed front-end & i-style blue accent
Another future design aspect of BMW electric vehicles previewed on the i4 is the classical four-eyed front done in a modern and pared-back way. The i4’s twin freestanding LED elements and the i-style blue accent on the grille would be no doubt carried over to the i7’s design studio.
4. New flat logo
The i4 Concept provides the first look at the new BMW design. One of the important debuts is the logo for communications, the two-dimensional and transparent badge that is seamlessly integrated on the bonnet. Gone is the iconic black ring that contains the blue and white pie. The ring is now transparent, allowing the Frozen Light Copper (or the car’s body colour) shine through.
21 November, 2019
German car companies are putting their money where their mouths are developing a complete range of electric cars across segments. There is further evidence today that BMW’s next-generation 7 Series is gaining an EV variant as first spy shots of an early test mule has popped up from the lens of spy photographers in Europe. The vehicle, a long wheelbase 745e, carries a sticker that reads “Electric test vehicle” which is a straightforward sign of what BMW engineers are up to.
It is a bit late for a pure electric 7 Series in the current generation as the G11/G12 is 5 years old and would go out of production in about 2 years. Come 2022, BMW would be ready to market the 7th generation of its flagship sedan that is codenamed BMW G70.
The 7 Series electric will come with an evolved fifth-generation eDrive that BMW’s former CEO Harald Krueger said would have a range of about 700 km on a single charge. The vehicle will arrive not without competition waiting for it as Mercedes is in a more advanced stage of the development of the S-Class based electric vehicle, dubbed Mercedes EQS, whereas the Jaguar XJ electric will be revealed at some point later this year.
BMWBlog.com had reported in July this year on the electric 7 Series. The blog said that the electric 7 Series will feature the “i” moniker and feature different power outputs and at least three battery capacities, starting at 80 kWh and go beyond 120 kWh. Then came media reports that spoke about a ‘performance’ BMW i7 with 670 hp on tap with a range of about 580 km in the WLTP. The output of the normal variants is likely to top-out at about 550 hp.
We presume that the BMW 7 Series EV would get a dual motor setup with a full-time AWD system along with a fast-charging system like the Porsche Taycan which uses an 800V architecture. It may allow the BMW i7 to out-accelerate the top-end V12-engined BMW M760Li. Unlike the plug-in hybrid variant today that has soft visual changes, BMW would go for a bolder exterior with new sheet panels to leave the i7 with an altogether different identity.
With production commencement of the BMW G70 estimated in early 2022, one hopes to see the electric variant step later that year as its arch rival Mercedes S-Class, would have had its electric variant, the Mercedes EQS on sale for about a year. It is very early to think about the role of the BMW i7 in BMW India’s strategy. At best, we expect the i7 to contribute less than 100 units in the first year of the launch and pave the way for smaller EVs in the region.
Electric Performance BMW Mi7 to replace the 6.6L V12 engine – Report
A recent report from the credible BMWBlog.com has strengthened the possibility of the launch of a BMW Mi7. The website suggests that there will not be one but two electrified models for the 7 Series – a plug-in hybrid and a fully electric. BMW could be looking to launch the BMW 750e as a plug-in hybrid model that will come with a 3.0-litre V6 engine and an electric motor to produce a combined output of over 500 hp. The 750e could be the replacement of 750i that has a 4.4-litre V8 unit.
The fully electric model i7 M60 or ‘Mi7’ that would be the replacement of top of the range BMW M760Li. The 6.6-litre V12 will be replaced by a high voltage battery and two performance electric motors on each axle that will drive the combined output to over 650 hp. The battery could have close to 100 kWh in capacity and return a range of about 640 km in a single charge. Down the variant ladder, there would be two electric models namely i740 and i750, with rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive respectively with outputs between 350 hp and 450 hp. All variants of the BMW 7 Series electric would support fast charging (this feature is doubtful for the PHEV) and a gamut of new autonomous driving tech is expected on the incoming 7 Series family, the report concludes.