BMW’s new 48V hybrid technology has been finding its way into a number of the brand’s models: the 2023 X7 M60i, the 2023 Alpina XB7, the all-new XM, and now the new 7 Series. While it may seem like this transmission-integrated 48-volt hybrid system has only been paired with BMW’s new S68 4.4 bi-turbo V8 engine in the X7, XB7, and XM, it now mates to three different engine options in the plug-in-hybrid 7 Series lineup. While these 7 Series models won’t be released in the US, it’s a sign of things to come for models across BMW’s global lineup.
The 7 Series combustion engines receiving the new 48V treatment are all in-line sixes; two gasoline variants and one diesel variant. If you’re not aware of how this hybrid system works, a 48V electric motor is integrated into the eight-speed transmission, which saves both space and weight by design. The electric motor can either power the vehicle on its own, or work in tandem with the combustion engine to generate a higher combined output. BMW says, “The optimized power delivery achieved with the pre-gearing stage between the electric motor’s rotor and the transmission’s input shaft makes a clear difference both when accelerating off the line and putting in a quick burst of speed.”
The M760e xDrive–yes, that’s an M in front–-packs a turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder with 380 hp and 383 pound-feet of torque. When working with the electric motor, the entire system outputs 571 hp and 590 pound-feet of torque. This is the quickest 7 of the bunch, taking just 4.3 seconds to get to 62 mph. And it should be the quickest as BMW M has put their mark on it.
The 750e xDrive drops the turbocharger from the 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine. This results in the combustion-only output of 313 hp and 332 pound-feet of torque. Activating the electric motor bumps both numbers, yielding 490 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration to 62 mph can be achieved in 4.8 seconds.
The diesel option is badged the 740d xDrive. Combined output of the hybrid system in the 740d is rated at 300 hp and 494 pound-feet of torque, with the electric motor chipping in 147 of the “torques.” The 740d will reach 62 mph in just under six seconds.
Per BMW, all three models “source their energy from an [18.7 kWh] lithium-ion high-voltage battery installed in the vehicle floor, which is the product of fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology.” This generation of battery has more than 50 percent higher usable energy content than the previous generation. The M760e and 750e have an estimated electric-only range of around 50 miles. I would expect all models to share the same three drive modes of the X7, XB7, and XM.
As we’ve already seen, BMW had been planning to use this hybrid system across its model lineup, but now we can see that it can be integrated across their powertrain lineup as well. BMW says, “This is the result of a newly developed, flexible vehicle architecture for the 7 Series and the expression of a globally oriented offer structure which allows the model range to be adapted individually for each specific market.” The only question I have is which model will receive the 48V hybrid treatment next? —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of BMW]