Look at the BMW i line-up. You've got the all-electric i3 on the low end and the hybrid flagship i8 on the high end. What's missing? Lots.

So when our intrepid spy shooters caught this oddly modified 7 Series with ActiveHybrid badging, the wheels of speculation began spinning.

Ignore for a second the misshapen front and rear fenders and direct your attention at the thin front wheels. The bits behind the spokes and brakes look remarkably close to hub-mounted motors, and it looks like there could be a set in the back as well.

BMW has made it clear that the i brand will spawn a number of models in the coming years and if there's any segment ripe for mass consumption, it's a sedan. So with the Tesla Model S due to arrive next year and the Fisker Karma continuing to get press, BMW needs its own EV sedan. And if it's packing a range extending engine, all the better.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Jason Allen
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a delusional joke, comparing this disfigured, already lame, BMW (FUGLY) sedan to a Tesla Model S or a Fisker Karma (Both beautiful). It's a fat, retarded, ham-fisted excuse for an EV. Build EV's from scratch and forget this illogical tendency to ruin cars that were never meant to house a high tech EV. I like the i3 and i8. Let's hope this is just a test-bed for the wheel hub motors (if they are even there).
        Greg
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason Allen
        I don't understand how in the world you are commenting on how this looks when this is obviously just a test mule..
        Xedicon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason Allen
        All I can say is that at some point, you have to take your upcoming running gear, stuff it into something, and try it in the real world. I know a lot of automotive engineers, and there's no way around this step. It often is a favorite step for the engineers - they get to do zany engine swaps and what not for testing and finally see their hard work power down the road. There are occasions where it works the other way round - the original Viper mules had V8s in them to start dialing in chassis dynamics as an example. Knocking BMW for actually driving their new systems on the road is like knocking a chef for actually tasting the food they prepare. I'd rather eat the food that's had a little QA first.
      chris
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anyone else getting tired of hearing the letter "i" for EVERYTHING these days? It's lost all "charm", as if it had any to begin with. All of Apple's products, car model designations (Mitsubishi has an electric car simply called the "i"; gee, that's original), car technologies, engine names and technologies, and just regular consumer products littered with "i-this" and "i-that". Not meaning to rant, but good grief, enough with the "i" already. It seriously just sounds stupid anymore.
      Lachmund
      • 3 Years Ago
      tires and rims look definately suspicious
      lorenzo
      • 3 Years Ago
      i see a disc break
      heltersceltic
      • 3 Years Ago
      Something's going on with the rear suspension. It's sitting awfully low (carrying the weight of a large battery pack?) and they are trying to camouflage it with the black wheel lip strip. You can see the rear tire is carrying some weight, too.
      Cyx
      • 3 Years Ago
      I saw it had a large-disc, I think it would be a high performance version but not an eletric one.