Remember when you told you that trading two cylinders would save your soul?

After the turn of the decade, we reported that BMW would be one of the last automakers to drop the internal combustion engine. In that same report, we explained more about what that meant and that while the four- and six-cylinder engines would be in play for a while, BMW’s V-8 and V-12 were living on borrowed time. We even told you that by 2023 BMW’s V-12 would probably be retired. Now, that fate has essentially be sealed as BMW has confirmed that the new BMW 7 Series – due in late 2021 or early 2022 – will be offered with a range of gasoline and diesel engines and even hybrid and pure-electric propulsion systems. So, we’ve got confirmation that the BMW i7 is coming, but we’ve also learned that the V-8 and V-12 are officially on the chopping block.

Will the 2022 BMW 7 Series Be Electric?

BMW i7 Confirmed Along With the Fate of V-8 and V-12 Engines
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During a press conference in Munich on March 18, BMW confirmed that the next-gen 7 Series is in fact coming and that it would be offered with a range of propulsion means, two of which are hybrid and all-electric.

BMW has yet to officially confirm the name for the electric 7 Series, but all roads point to it being called the i7, which would follow BMW’s new “i” designation for electric vehicles (see the new i4, for example.)

This is also backed up by the fact that the i4 is little more than a reworked 4 Series Gran Coupe with an electric powertrain, and the i7 is expected to take a similar route. The 7 Series will likely feature a beefed-up version of the fifth-gen electric drivetrain that will make its debut when the BMW i4 and iNext debut go on sale in 2021.

As for battery packs, the current rumors are that there will be two – an 80 kWh pack and a 120 kWh pack, the latter of which will offer better range and better performance.

Range expectations are set as somewhere around 384 miles in the real world for the 120 kWh battery, which seems legitimate for a ca that could come painfully close to the three-ton mark with the added weight from batteries and electric motors.

Obviously, the entry-level electric model will feature the smaller pack while the long-range i7, as we’re calling it for now, will be the range-topping model with the larger pack.

BMW’s Shift to Hybridization Is Responsible for Death of the V-8 and V-12 7 Series

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Drivetrain
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It gets a new twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine with an output of 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque
When BMW launches the next-gen 7 Series, probably in late 2021 or early 2022, the V-8 and V-12 engine options will leave this world as fast as the last-gen model does.

Models that were previously powered by these large, thirsty engines will now be powered by a hybrid powertrain that blends some iteration of BMW’s new electric powertrain with a derivative of the B58 3.0-liter straight-six.

According to various sources, as quoted by BMW Blog, these upper-trim models will be good for a combined power output of at least 500 horsepower, so they’ll have more than enough juice to make up for the deficit of losing two or more cylinders.

The same source indicates that the most powerful version of the hybrid powertrain will have enough to replace the M760Li.

To put this into perspective, the M760i’s 6.6-liter V-12 delivers 601 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque and can push that heavy car (5,159 pounds, to be exact) to 60 mph in as little as 3.6 seconds. So, BMW has managed to make a hybrid powertrian with half the cylinders and still deliver similar power output and performance. That’s nothing short of amazing.

When Will the 2022 BMW 7 Series or the i7 Make Their Debut?

BMW i7 Confirmed Along With the Fate of V-8 and V-12 Engines
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With the current-generation 7 Series on the market since 2015, the seven-year lifespan is approaching its end. And, BMW has promised that at least 12-13 new electric models will make it to the market by 2023.

So, we’re guessing the new 7 Series will arrive sometime in late 2021 or early 2022, with the first BMW i7 making its maiden voyage into the world sometime in late 2022 or early 2023

That’s just enough time for BMW to fine-tune the electric architecture and a little extra time to warm people up to the idea of an electric 7 Series.

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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