All-electric BMW 7 Series to be offered alongside combustion options from 2022
Range-topping BMW 7 Series luxury saloon will get the option of a fully-electric powertrain to take on the all-new electric Jaguar XJ when it arrives in 2022.
BMW has confirmed that the next version of its 7 Series flagship limo will be available with a fully electric powertrain. Due to hit showrooms in 2022, it’ll allow the 7 Series to directly compete with both the electric Jaguar XJ, and next Mercedes S-Class, which will get an electric EQS variant.
The 7 Series will be powered by BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive electric technology; a variant of which will make its debut in the iX3 SUV. The system groups the electric motor, transmission and electronics into a single bolt-in unit, reducing both the overall mass and the amount of space the system takes up in the vehicle.
However, combustion options for the 7 Series won’t be cancelled just yet - the EV version will be one of four different drive technologies available. Buyers will get the choice of diesel or petrol engines with 48-volt mild hybrid tech, a plug-in hybrid or the full battery-powered option.
Technical specifications are yet to be announced but, in order to stand up to rivals, the electric 7 Series will need a range upwards of 300 miles. The Tesla Model S achieves up to 379 miles based on WLTP testing, while premium SUV-shaped rivals such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron both offer around 250 miles of range.
That’s an achievable figure for BMW, however - the iX3 SUV, despite its boxy SUV shape which hinders aerodynamics and a smaller footprint than the 7 Series (so it’ll have less room for batteries) boasts an official range of 285 miles. The most potent version of the iX3 features a twin-motor, all-wheel-drive electric powertrain and a 70kWh battery pack, which offers a power output of 532bhp.
The confirmation comes as the BMW Group (which includes MINI and Rolls Royce) set out its strategy to bring 25 electrified vehicles to market by 2023 – more than half of which will use a fully-electric powertrain, in a move that will see the average emissions of its entire range drop by over a third. The company will achieve this by building its fleet on a range of flexible platforms, which support all-electric, plug-in hybrid and combustion-engined drive.
We’ve seen this already with the new BMW iX3. When it goes on sale later this year, the SUV will be one of the most diverse models in the company’s line-up, with a choice of petrol, diesel, mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric powertrains. All versions share the same basic version of BMW’s CLAR platform, with the required hardware for the hybrid and all-electric variants being bolted on as necessary.
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