Yes, it's a big deal.
Development is already underway on the next-generation BMW 7 Series, which we always suspected would be offered with both conventional and fully-electric powertrains. Today, our suspicions have been confirmed as during the Annual Accounts Press Conference 2020, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse, officially announced plans for the new 7 Series. And, as expected, a fully-electrified version will be available. For those still not sold on pure battery-powered vehicles, Zipse confirmed gasoline and diesel versions are also happening, altough the latter is very unlikely to come to the US.
"All [7 Series] drivetrains will be based on a single architecture," Zipse said in a statement. "And the top, most powerful 7 Series will be fully electric."
Yes, the best next-gen 7 Series you'll be able to buy will be an EV. Currently, the twin-turbo 6.6-liter V12 currently found in the flagship M760i produces a total of 601 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque and goes from 0-62 mph in just 3.7 seconds. As we previously reported, it's likely the next 7 Series will be void of a V12 and, possibly, a V8 as well. More than likely, the new 7 Series EV will be even more powerful and faster. Will it be called i7? Still too early to know.
BMW's decision to produce vehicles with different drive technologies alongside one another for the foreseeable future will help transition the brand and its long-time customers into an all-electric future. Zipse didn't go into any more details about the 2022 BMW 7 Series, such as pricing and how it'll compare to one of its most direct rivals (at least in EV form), the Tesla Model S.
For reference, today's M760i begins at nearly $160,000 while the most expensive Model S goes for around $100,000. Although 7 Series development is ongoing, BMW is heavily focused on the launch details of the first-ever i4 all-electric sedan.
Set to replace the outgoing BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, the BMW i4 will retain the four-door coupe styling that appeals to so many. Will the i4 steal sales away from the latest BMW 3 Series? No one knows for certain but you can surely bet BMW will be paying very close attention to these sales figures.