BMW will build an electric version of the 7-Series—its flagship sedan.
The electric model will be the most powerful 7-Series variant, Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, said in a Tuesday speech also updating investors on the automaker's response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
"The next generation 7-Series will be available with four drivetrain variants: petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid, and fully-electric," Zipse said. "And the top, most powerful 7-Series will be fully electric!"
That would mean topping the 600 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque generated by the 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V12 in the current M760i XDrive model. It might even have its most powerful sedan ever if it can top the current M5's 617 hp.
Zipse didn't discuss any other details of the electric 7-Series, or a timeline for its launch.
BMW has several other electric cars in the works. The automaker previously said it would launch 12 all-electric models by 2025, although not all will be sold in the United States.
2020 BMW 7-Series
The iX3—an electric version of the X3 crossover—will start production in China later this year.
This model was originally slated for the U.S., but BMW reversed itself and now says it has no plans to bring the iX3 here. BMW may follow the lead of rival Mercedes-Benz and funnel vehicles to Europe, where strict emissions standards contrast the current U.S. regulatory situation.
The larger iNext crossover will arrive in the U.S. in mid-2021, and it will probably launch its i4 sedan here later in 2021.
Recently revealed in concept-car form, the i4 is about the same size as the Tesla Model 3 and BMW's bread and butter 3-Series sedan, but with a lower roofline closer to the current 4-Series Gran Coupe.
BMW has already confirmed that the i4 will deliver 270 miles of range on the EPA test cycle with an 80-kilowatt-hour battery pack. That, combined with the i4's larger four-door footprint, should give the car wider appeal than BMW's only current all-electric model.
While it continues to get refinements and improvements, the BMW i3 is still short on both range and interior space compared to most other electric cars.