For the next 7-series, choice will be king. During BMW’s annual accounts press conference on Wednesday, it was confirmed that the flagship saloon - expected to arrive in 2022 - will be available with petrol, diesel, hybrid and all-electric powertrain options.
It’s part of a wider strategy that’ll see BEVs and more conventionally-powered products sitting on the same platforms. The EV version of the 7-series won’t be unique in the market, though - it’ll have to compete with both the incoming Mercedes EQS and Jaguar’s electric XJ.
It was also noted that the most powerful version of the next 7 will be one of the electric derivatives, which as good as confirms that the current V12-powered M760Li won’t be replaced. Not that we’re surprised - BMW called the future of the 6.6-litre engine into question not so long ago. But a V8? That could still happen, although BMW may decide that a similarly powerful hybridised inline-six is a better bet amid tightening emissions regulations.
Inevitably, the Coronavirus was a prominent theme of the conference. BMW, like all car companies, is weathering the economic storm caused by the pandemic and efforts to contain it. Munich has announced the closure of factories across Europe and in South Africa.
Chairman of the board Oliver Zipse said that BMW Group “fully supports the measures aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus”. On a more positive note, Zipse said that “we have to think about the time after Corona - BMW Group is a company that thinks in the long-term”.