BMW's Electric i7, i5 M & i4 M to Get a 750 HP Tri-Motor Powertrain
After stirring controversy with CEO Oliver Zipse's recent public dig at rival Tesla, automaker BMW has announced that its top-of-the-line all-electric product will be a battery-powered version of the flagship 7 Series sedan.
In his dig at Tesla, Zipse said that BMW has a different "standard on quality and reliability", as well as "different aspirations on customer satisfaction" than the EV pioneer, meaning that the electric 7 Series will be better than the Model S.
Unlike its rival Mercedes-Benz, BMW does not intend on developing a range of new parallel electric models. Instead, the automaker will introduce battery-powered versions of its current and future internal combustion engine (ICE) models. As a result, BMW will likely offer the electric i7 as an alternative to its ICE i7 sedan.
According to German news outlet Auto-Motor-und-Sport, BMW's range-topping electric i7 sedan will be powered by a tri-motor, all-wheel-drive setup. The i7's battery-powered drivetrain is rumored to produce 750 HP of maximum power.
It is also possible that the upcoming BMW i7 will share its powertrain with the i4 M and i5 M. high-performance sedan. As the name suggests, the i5 will be a fully-electric version of the next-generation BMW 5 Series sedan.
BMW does not intend on ditching its ICE models anytime soon, but the automaker will also offer high-performance M-badged versions of most of its new EVs. The BMW i5 M will likely be the most capable version of the next-generation 5 Series and will likely debut in 2023.
The i5 sedan will be offered in different powertrains options, including a single motor, dual-motor and a tri-motor powertrain, which will use two electric motors to propel the rear axle and the third motor to power the front wheels.
Judging from the early spy shots that have surfaced online, the BMW i5 might not sport the company's controversial design language. But recent spy shots of the flagship i7 suggest that the upcoming range-topping electric sedan might sport BMW's new polarizing EV styling.
It is also possible that BMW might electrify the ICE version of the M5 in some capacity in order to reduce its emissions and improve fuel economy.
The new electric models confirm BMW's ambitious electrification plans. The automaker aims for electric vehicle sales to account for 50% of the company's global sales by 2030.
BMW has already spent around $230 million to upgrade its manufacturing facility in Munich to produce EVs. After 2023, BMW will use its CLAR (Cluster Architecture II) platform to underpin its series of electric-only models.
The modular CLAR platform debuted in the 2015 7 Series. It has an optional 48-volt electrical system in a mild-hybrid configuration, but also supports plug-in hybrid and pure electric drivetrains.
BMW also recently announced that its first electric-only series model, the i4 sedan, has officially entered production at the company's production facility in Munich.
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