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Next-gen 7-Series’ electric version spotted

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2023 BMW i7 spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

A prototype for BMW’s next-generation 7-Series has been spotted again.

The tester is for a battery-electric version that’s likely to feature some styling elements distinct to the rest of the 7-Series lineup, like a sealed-off grille. It may also have a unique name, such as “i7.” Other shots show prototypes with internal-combustion engines.

2023 BMW i7 spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

There’s a lot of camouflage gear to hide the true shape, particularly around the C-pillar to mask the latest take on BMW’s signature Hofmeister kink. There is also a rearward facing camera mounted to each of the front fenders, as well as multiple cameras and a large sensor in the grille area.

The latest spy shots show the true shape of the grille, which is reminiscent of the design on the recently revealed iX battery-electric SUV. The protruding, shark nose design meanwhile looks to have been inspired by the Pininfarina-styled Gran Lusso Coupe concept from 2013.

2023 BMW i7 spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2023 BMW i7 spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The resulting design should be much grander and more dynamic than the somewhat staid look of the current G11 7-Series.

Underpinning the vehicle will be an updated version of the current 7-Series’ CLAR platform which is flexible enough to support multiple powertrain types. For the electric 7-Series, BMW will use its fifth-generation battery and electric powertrain technology which debuted last year in the iX3 SUV sold overseas.

BMW fifth-generation EV technology

BMW fifth-generation EV technology

The technology supports batteries with up to 120 kilowatt-hours of capacity, or enough for a range approaching 400 miles. BMW’s battery partners include CATL, Samsung SDI and Northvolt.

The powertrain will rely on modular drive units that combine the electric motor, transmission and power control unit into a single housing. Three of these drive units developing over 720 hp combined motivated the 5-Series demonstrator BMW unveiled a couple of years back; two powered the rear wheels independently, allowing for torque vectoring control, and one powered the front pair. Such a system allows BMW to scale power output and add all-wheel-drive capability for individual models by simply adding or subtracting powertrain modules. In the iX, two of the drive units deliver about 500 hp.

BMW fifth-generation motor system

BMW fifth-generation motor system

Other powertrains destined for the next-gen 7-Series should include mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid setups. A V-8 in mild-hybrid configuration is a sure bet but the jury is still out on whether a V-12 will still be around. However, a senior BMW exec as recently as 2019 said the company had no plans to abandon the big engine.

Look for the next-gen 7-Series to arrive in 2022 as a 2023 model. The battery-electric i7 should be available at launch.

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Autos

2021 Ram 1500 TRX strapped to dyno, puts out 583 hp at the rear wheels

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2021 Hennessey Mammoth 1000 1500 TRX

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX boasts a factory-quoted 702 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, but that’s as measured at the crank, not the wheels. Hennessey Performance Engineering tried to measure how much power the TRX makes at the wheels by strapping one to a dyno, but only ran numbers for the rear wheels.

The dyno test showed 538 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. That represents around 17% driveline loss, which isn’t unusal for a pickup truck. Hennessey previously recorded 20% driveline loss at the rear wheels when it tested a 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor.

The TRX is full-time four-wheel drive, so you might be wondering how Hennessey got dyno results for the rear wheels only. Company founder John Hennessey told Motor Authority that four-wheel drive was disabled by disconnecting the front driveshaft.

2021 Hennessey Mammoth 1000 1500 TRX

While the TRX was designed for off-roading, the amount of power produced by its 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V-8 makes this truck pretty quick on pavement. Ram says it will do 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Inevitably, that wasn’t enough for Hennessey. The company has developed more powerful versions of every Hellcat-powered vehicle, and it’s doing the same with the TRX. Dubbed the Mammoth 1000, Hennessey claims its take on the TRX will boast 1,000 hp, will do 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, and run the quarter mile in 11.4 seconds.

To achieve those numbers, Hennessey plans to equip the Mammoth 1000 with an upgraded supercharger, pulley, and air intake, stainless-steel headers, high-flow exhaust piping (retaining the catalytic converter), and new engine mapping. The price for the complete truck is $135,350, and Hennessey only plans to build 200 this year.

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Bronze 1965 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra “CSX 4600” is a stunner that’s for sale

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1965 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra

The popularity of the Shelby Cobra—combined with the value of original cars—has created a fertile market for replicas. But this Cobra—CSX 4600—is no ordinary replica. It features hand-polished bare metal bronze bodywork, complete with brushed racing stripes. It’s currently up for sale through RM Sotheby’s, with a $475,000 asking price.

The bronze Cobra is the work of Utah-based Kirkham Motorsports. The company has sold Cobra replicas with bodies built at a former aircraft factory in Poland since 1994, a partnership that began when founder David Kirkham has called in to help repair the nose cone of a recently imported fighter jet.

Kirkham bodies are typically aluminum, but the company occasionally tries out other materials. In addition to the bronze CSX 4600, it built at least one car with copper bodywork, according to the listing.

While this car isn’t an original Cobra, it does get a “CSX” serial number, indicating that it is recognized as an authentic Cobra replica by Shelby American. The company has given its blessing—and serial numbers—to a handful of replica builders over the years, and builds its own replicas. That makes modern CSX-numbered cars similar to the “continuation cars” built by automakers like Jaguar, Aston Martin, and Bentley, as they’re officially considered to be a continuation of the original production run.

1965 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra

CSX 4600 is modeled on a 1965 427 S/C Cobra. “S/C” stood for “semi competition,” and denoted a handful of big-block Cobras that were originally built as race cars, but then converted for street use after Shelby failed to get the 427 Cobra homologated for the 1965 racing season.

Under the bronze hood sits a “427 FE” V-8 built by the Carroll Shelby Engine Company, bored and stroked to 511 cubic inches and featuring fuel injection with eight 58-millimeter Borla Induction throttle bodies. The engine makes 650 hp and 670 lb-ft of torque, which is channeled to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission.

The asking price may be high, but it’s a bargain compared to the millions original Cobras tend to fetch at auction. For example, a 1965 427 Cobra owned by Carroll Shelby sold for $5.94 million at a Mecum Auctions sale earlier this year.

Alternatively, you can have a Cobra replica that departs from the original design. The Superformance MKIII R sports a handful of modern updates, and the company is even planning an electric Cobra.

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2022 Volvo C40 Recharge, 2021 Porsche Taycan, 2021 Honda Legend: This Week’s Top Photos

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2021 Aston Martin AMR21 Formula One race car

By 2030, Volvo will have a fully electric lineup and an online sales model just like Tesla. However, we won’t have to wait until then for new electric vehicles from the Swedish brand as it will already have seven available by the middle of the decade. One of the seven was revealed this week in the form of the 2022 C40 Recharge.

2021 Aston Martin AMR21 Formula One race car

Aston Martin is returning to Formula One for the first time since 1960 and has a multiple world champion signed as a driver. We’re talking about Sebastian Vettel, who will be driving the new Aston Martin AMR21 together with Lance Stroll.

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

Porsche this week launched its first soft-roader wagon in the form of the 2021 Taycan Cross Turismo. It reaches dealerships this summer and will cost you only about $1,500 more than the equivalent Taycan sedan.

Ferrari Special Series test mule spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Ferrari Special Series test mule spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

One of the cars we spied this week is likely to be the successor to the LaFerrari. It’s also likely to be the car Ferrari enters in the new Le Mans Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship in 2023.

2023 Maserati GranTurismo test mule spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2023 Maserati GranTurismo test mule spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Another upcoming vehicle we spied this week was the next-generation Maserati GranTurismo due on sale next year. Maserati is testing the new mechanical package under the makeshift body of an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio to keep prying eyes away.

2021 Honda Legend (Japanese spec)

2021 Honda Legend (Japanese spec)

This week we learned that the Acura RLX is alive and well in Japan, only it’s known as a Honda Legend over there. The latest version sports some new electronic driver-assist features rated at Level 3 on the SAE scale of self-driving capability.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 008 “Mini Boot”

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 008 “Mini Boot”

America’s Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus provided an update on its 008. The 008 is a kit car that’s best described as a jacked up, off-road-ready version of SCG’s 004 supercar.

2020 Audi SQ8

2020 Audi SQ8

And finally, we had a chance to test the 2020 Audi SQ8. The Lamborghini Urus’ German cousin delivers performance and utility in a no compromise, understated package.

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