BMW innovations until 2023
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The Munich-based premium manufacturer is ramping up its strategy of choice power with the new 7, X1 and 5 Series. Customers are free to choose between a diesel, petrol, hybrid or electric motor.
On average, a model cycle in the auto industry takes seven years. The exception is not even the flagship from BMW, the 7 Series. After 45 years, the seventh generation has now arrived. And the number seven should set the standards again, not just in the sector, but in all categories. The Munich-based automaker has put a lot of effort into this, in all disciplines, from driving to digitization.
7 all-electric series also for the first time
The Series 7, known internally as the G70, will launch in November and will also be available in an all-electric i7 version for the first time. Unlike Mercedes, whose EQS is based on a custom electronics architecture (EVA2), BMW developers opted for a multi-purpose platform (CLAR-WE) and let the i7 roll off the assembly line with the same combustion body shape as the plug-in and hybrid engines.
There are only marginal differences in a few decorative elements. The i7 will be followed by two hybrids in spring 2023, a diesel and later in the year an M version of the i7.
China and the United States are the most important markets. The design alignment was strong in contrast. At 5.40 metres, the 7 Series is bigger than ever, and a version with a shorter wheelbase, as well as six- and eight-cylinder petrol engines, have been dropped for Europe.
iX1 as successor to i3
This year’s second major new surcharge is called the X1. As with the Seven, for the first time, the customer also has the option to opt for a battery-powered engine in the smallest SUV series in the range. The iX1 is seen internally as a successor to the i3, which will be phased out in the summer, but without achieving its iconic and flagship look.
But sales experts expect the iX1 – due to its mainstream design – to generate significantly higher sales numbers than the Polarized i3, which sold just a quarter of a million in just under nine years.
Triple models with new cockpit
A facelift called internally LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) is still pending for the third series in 2022. Externally, it stays with revisions front and rear. But BMW spent a lot of money on the new cockpit. As happened with the X7, the Series 3 models will also have a curved screen. The same should happen with the X5 and X6 models, including the M derivatives, whose LCI is scheduled for 2023.
Incidentally, the high-performance subsidiary M GmbH is celebrating its fiftieth birthday this year. You give yourself gifts, first in the form of the 750-hp XM SUV (but not launching until 2023) and second in the form of the M4 CSL. This lightweight coupe (E46 series) was already available from 2003 to 2004, and at that time it was still called the M3 CSL.
In 2023, all of the sports brand’s genes will follow a “concentrated core”: the M2. The compact electric coupe once again has M3 architecture, powered by a six-cylinder engine and a rear-wheel drive. The last of its kind. With delicacies like these, you keep your fans loyal.
The eighth generation of the 5 series
The Series Five wasn’t quite seven years old when it gave way to the next – meanwhile, number eight – in the fall of 2023. Like the Seven, it’s also still based on the upgraded CLAR platform, which gives the buyer a so-called “power of choice” (term BMW), which means it can choose between a combustion engine, plug-in hybrid and all-electric trim. The latter bears the model designation i5 in the 5 Series. The i5 Touring is also designated. After all, you don’t want to leave Audi alone in the field with the A6 E-Tron Avant.
The fact that developers are eager to send a powerful M version of the i5 on the road should be part of the logical operations in BMW’s electric strategy. However, it also requires sacrifices. One of them is a high-performance version of the 5 Series hatchback, dubbed the 6 Series Gran Turismo. Apparently, the model will not get a successor.