"The new 7 Series sounds the starting signal for our new generation of highly-efficient combustion engines," BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse said at a press event in New York last week.
Under the hood of the BMW 740i is a 3-liter TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine that delivers 375 hp — a 40-horsepower increase over the previous generation. The 740i, which starts at $94,295, including shipping, can do 0-to-60 mph in 5 seconds.
The beefier BMW 760i xDrive features a 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V-8 that delivers 536 hp and a 0-to-60 mph sprint in 4.2 seconds. It starts at $114,595, including a $995 shipping charge.
Both engines include a 48V mild-hybrid system that boosts output up to 12 hp.
The all-electric i7 xDrive60 is powered by dual motors that deliver a combined 536 horsepower and up to 300 miles of range. Pre-orders for the i7, which starts at $120,295, begin today.
"The i7 doesn't make any compromises, and it is electric," Zipse said.
All drivetrains of the new 7 Series are based on a single architecture, the latest evolution of BMW's rear-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive CLAR platform, and have a similar body style.
Spreading the development costs across internal combustion, hybrid and electric variants makes the i7 potentially more profitable for BMW than building it on a dedicated EV platform, said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions.
"Sharing so much with the 7-Series also makes the transition to the i7 easier for returning buyers who tend to be older and less likely to appreciate radical changes in their vehicles," Fiorani said.
BMW National Dealer Forum Chairman David Sloane said building the 7 Series on an architecture that can support multiple powertrains is strategic.
"It allows BMW to build where the market demand is," said Sloane, president of Sloane Automotive Group in suburban Philadelphia.