2023 BMW 7 Series: Hybrid and Electric
2023 BMW 7 Series: Hybrid and Electric– BMW’s flagship sedan will be electric, as the company has confirmed that the next-generation 7 series will offer an EV version. The battery-powered 7er will be sold along with petrol, diesel, and plug-in-hybrid versions. BMW hasn’t provided any technical specifications for the electric 7 series, but says it will use a “fifth-generation electric drivetrain”.
While the EQS will look very different from the S-Class / S-Class Hybrid by adopting a swoopy liftback form, it doesn’t appear that BMW is going down the same path. A close-up collection of spy images showing two flavors from the Series 7 will share most of the design, except for the heavy camouflage messing with us.
The next 7er appears to be a production body, but we are inclined to believe that the headlights and taillights are substitutes. Apart from the different wheels, you can tell which one is which by looking at the rear of the car where the plug-in hybrid has a protruding quad-exhaust configuration, which a pure electric model obviously doesn’t need.
The “Electric Test Vehicle” and “Hybrid Test Vehicle” stickers on the front door and rear bumper are further clues to what we are dealing with with the two different types of propulsion.
You can tell BMW went the extra mile to disguise the prototype by looking at the tiny black rivets that hold back an extra layer of camouflage. A closer look at the side profile reveals what you might believe to be a conventional door handle, but it’s just a white image on camouflage. The actual handle is on the bottom and we feel similar to the i4.
Despite the abundant camouflage, this prototype suggests there will be some major changes in design compared to the current Series 7. A few shark nose cues seem to stick out from the camouflage, and we get E38 vibes here and there. Of course, we were concerned about the size and shape of the grid, but so far it looks good.
BMW is trying to hide even the door card on the driver’s side, which makes us sure the interior is going to undergo some big changes.
Little more is known about the new Bavarian range-topper, although we will remind you that BMW has promised to make the electric variant – believed to be called the i7 – the most powerful of all. The 6.6 liter twin-turbo V12 engine available on the M760i is currently in the process of being exited due to low demand and increased costs to make it comply with stringent emission regulations.
The current Series 7, codenamed G11, has been on sale in the US since the 2016 model year.It received a refresh for 2020 – which brings a polarizing increase in grille size (pictured above) – indicating that there are still a few models left before the generation model next arrives.
The next-generation 7 Series electric version
There is plenty of camouflage gear to hide its true form, especially around the C-pillar to cover the latest look of BMW’s signature Hofmeister kink. There is also a rear-facing camera mounted on each of the front fenders, perhaps implying that the side mirrors can be replaced with camera-based systems in some markets.
On the front, the headlights (unit is still modest) and low grille, produce a look reminiscent of the much-loved E38 generation. Meanwhile, the prominent shark nose design looks inspired by the Pininfarina-style Gran Lusso Coupe concept from 2013.
The resulting design should be much more majestic and dynamic than the current G11 Series 7 display.
The vehicle support will be the latest version of the current CLAR 7-Series platform which is flexible enough to support a wide variety of powertrains. For the electric 7 Series, BMW will use the fifth-generation battery and electric powertrain technology which made its debut this year in the iX3 SUV sold overseas.
Meanwhile, the powertrain will rely on a modular drive unit that combines the electric motor, transmission and power control unit into one housing. Three of these propulsion units develop more than 720 horsepower which combined to motivate the 5 Series demonstrators that BMW introduced last year; two drive the rear wheels independently, allowing for torque vector control, and one powers the front pair. Such a system allows BMW to scale power output and add all-wheel-drive capability for individual models by simply adding or removing the powertrain module.
Other powertrains destined for the next-generation Series 7 should include a light hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, with the largest internal combustion engine likely to be the V-8. Sorry, V-12 fans.
Look out for the next generation Series 7 which will arrive in 2022 as the model year 2023. The i7 battery-electric should be available at launch.