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
  • 15 Comments
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      I saw an original model Chevy Malibu with all sorts of black paint, cladding, wires, etc. all over it on Ft. Myers Beach, in Florida. I struck up a conversation with one of the people that was a driver, and he told me it was Volt test mule. They can make the mule look like whatever they want. I saw some odd Fords driving north a few months ago. One was an Explorer painted like a Zebra, the other was a Taurus, same paint job. All sorts of strange cladding on them as well, and fake tail lights. No idea what these were, but again, test mules.
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is that a hub motor, or a new type of braking system? I can't tell
      Dave
      • 3 Years Ago
      If this is a BEV mule, it was very clever of BMW to retain the exhaust tailpipes.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave
        For a car of the size, weight and performance, not to mention price, of a 7-series a hybrid set-up of some sort would seen to make more sense. These cars are pre-eminently motorway cruisers, not city run-abouts, and forking over that sort of money and then not being able to use it when driving long distances would appear to have little appeal. This set-up, if there are indeed electric motors at the rear as well as the front, would seem to have a different setup to the i8 where a petrol engine drives the rear axle.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      well it's certainly suspicious. the outer part seems to be a disc brake with the caliper but it looks unusual enough that it could have a hub motor. the car is also sitting lower than normal at the back which could mean they filled it with batteries. but what an awful car to make electric. so drab, so dead. so overweight
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Dan...I am shocked - you forgot... 'so drab, do dead, so overweight. and not very aero at all.' See how I help you out? I hope you appreciate this, and are thankful! :) Happy Thanksgiving Dan - and, since it is Thanksgiving day - Happy Thanksgiving to all on ABG! :)
        uncle_sam
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        It is a great car for an ev. Luxurious, powerful, full of electronic tat. Why can't a luxury sedan be electrified? maybe they stuffed it with weight to stress the electric motors? why do you think we all have to drive tiny cars?
        atc98092
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        "but what an awful car to make electric..." You do understand the concept of a mule in the automobile world, right?
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Happy Thaksgiving to All ( day early) If you aren't American, then accept wishes of good will in the spirit that they were offered. And to make Noz thankful....: (thaksgiving day parade) As the official vehicle of the parade, more than 40 Ford cars and trucks will participate, pulling floats and carrying celebrities, and the new Ford Focus Electric will lead the parade and ride on top of Ford’s float
        Dave
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        "Ford Focus Electric will...ride on top of Ford’s float" Well done, Ford - you've solved the range issue. ;)
          Dave D
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave
          ROFLMAO!!! Ok, that was a good one. :-)
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Is that your subtle way of calling the Ford Focus EV a turkey? ;-)
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Ezee, Here's a curious fact about your little friend Noz (possibly DF) , he boasts that he has no interest in not owning an EV, instead prefers to ride on diesel buses..! Go figure that one.....
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Hmm! Some in here (the hardcore types) would say that is somewhat evil since diesel is still a fossil fuel (made by evil oil companies). Electric buses and trucks strike me as great ideas...maybe the best application of electric for the near term. Happy Thanksgiving Marco!
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nooooooooooooooooo I spoke of Ford Motor once in positive terms, so Noz was instantly convinced that I worked for Ford Motor. So to make him happy on Thanksgiving, I threw him the bone of a fact about Ford, just so he could scream out, "see! see! I knew it." Same as talking about cars being 'light weight and aero' (dan), needling 2wheel to build his bikes (although that isn't for fun, I really wish he would as they seem very good), or whatever else I can do to spread happiness and joy in the pages of ABG. But dave's comment was pretty good... :)
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