► Hybrid and electric variants on the way
► EV version will be unveiled in April 2022…
► … with a maximum range of 379 miles
After months of spy shots and hearsay, BMW has finally released some official details on the upcoming replacement for the 7 Series luxury saloon. We don’t have long to wait until we see the finished car, either, as the launch date has already been set for April.
BMW plans to start taking orders the moment the sheets are pulled off for both the i7 EV and the combustion-engined version of the saloon. There’s more on the latter powertrains further down the page, though – we need to tell you about the electric model first.
BMW’s announcement confirmed that the electric i7 will have an impressive maximum range of 610km (379 miles). While that’s not enough to compete with the longest-range versions of the Mercedes EQS, it’ll stand head-and-shoulders above the 300-ish-mile figures offered by the Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan.
The company’s teaser images also confirm that the design of the next BMW 7 Series will be a radical departure from the outgoing model. The brand’s trademark kidney grilles appear to have merged into one unit, while the headlamps have been narrowed down and placed lower on the car’s face, mirroring the styling of the soon-to-be facelifted X7 SUV.
Our render shows how the new i7 could look once the covers are peeled back. Note the aerodynamic shape of the car’s nose – the aggressive attack angle of the front valance should help push the air up and over the roof, rather than bluntly punching through it, which will help eke the most amount of range from the EV’s battery pack.
It’s a similar story at the rear. The back end has a teardrop shape which, when coupled with the diffuser and bootlid spoiler, should work to smooth out the airflow. In profile, this new limo also looks much simpler than the previous 7 Series, with fewer creases to cause turbulence.
Aero’s all well and good, but what’s the cabin like?
It sounds like it’ll be a bit of a tech-fest. One of the stand-out features is an enormous 31-inch wide panoramic display for rear-seat passengers, which is shown in the official image below. BMW says it will transform the rear of the 7 Series into a rolling cinema lounge – and the screen will have a better picture quality than most TVs, offering 8K resolution.
There’ll also be a customisable ambient lighting system, control panels set into the door cards and a new infotainment system up front. You can also make out the latter feature in the teaser below, which blends the digital instrument cluster and touchscreen into a single curved panel mounted atop the dashboard.
Buyers will also be able specify a panoramic glass roof, which we’ve already seen on some of BMW’s prototype cars. However, it sounds like there’ll be some extra technology laid into the glass – BMW says the panel will feature “LED light threads” that sound like they can be adjusted with the ambient lighting system on the dashboard.
You mentioned combustion engines. What can I expect?
BMW hasn’t confirmed any technical details about the combustion-engined versions of the next 7 Series. However, we expect it’ll be offered with a range of 3.0-litre six-cylinder mild-hybrid powertrains, as well as a couple of straight-six diesels.
Plug-in hybrid power is almost a certainty, as the 7 Series should be based on the same CLAR underpinnings as the company’s most recent models. The platform supports electric powertrains (such as that found under the i4) and electrified powertrains (like the system used in the X5 xDrive45e) – so the firm’s current PHEV system should just bolt straight in.
Read more about the pure-electric BMW i7 here