The heaviest passenger vehicles the world will ever see are on sale now, according to BMW

car news
car news
car news
car news
car news
car news
car news
car news
car news
car news
car news
car news
car news

The weight is over. Passenger cars and SUVs have become so heavy that they’re toying with the limits of drivers’ licenses around the world, but BMW believes we’ve finally reached a turning point.

Excess weight has hurt the car industry’s ability to lower its CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, with luxury demands, safety legislation, consumer preference for SUVs and crossovers and, now, EVs blamed for automotive obesity.

But the project manager of the new BMW 7 Series limousine, Christoph Fagschlunger, insists the automotive weight pile-on has reached its zenith and will now begin a diet.

While Aussies generally need a heavy vehicle licence to drive vehicles with a GVM of 4500kg, the European Class B licence has a vehicle weight limit of 3.5 tonnes and BMW’s heaviest current production car, the facelifted 2022 BMW X7, maxes out at 2480kg before anybody sits in it.

But BMW believes there is a natural ceiling for excessive automotive weight, and we’ve just hit it with machines like the latest X7 and i7 electric limousine.

“For us, the weight limits for licenses are still sufficient for the i7,” Fagschlunger insisted.

“I don’t think cars will get more heavy than they are now, and there are many reasons for that.

“For us, as a company who offers passenger vehicles, it is still possible to cover all the requirements within the existing weight restrictions.”

car news
BMW i7

The BMW 7 Series began life in 1977 at 1470kg, though the top-spec cars could reach 1629kg. The lightest version of the outgoing G11 7 Series, launched in 2015, weighed 1955kg, even with BMW’s ‘Carbon Core’ passenger cell.

The heaviest of the standard G11s was 2274kg, or 40 per cent more than the 1977 flagship.

BMW insists the weight surge over the last decade has been caused by an imperfect confluence of a mass-market move from passenger cars to crossovers and SUVs, plus safety, hybridisation and now EVs.

While safety is the go-to automotive excuse for jaw-dropping weight gains, the real answer is simple: luxury.

car news
BMW X7

A modern driver’s seat, Fagschlunger admitted, is at least 40kg heavier than it was 20 years ago, and some luxury car seats weigh up to 100kg each.

It’s not unusual for luxury car seats to carry more than 15 pneumatic air bladders for massaging and bolstering functions, plus hardware for cooling, heating and electric adjustment.

One upcoming luxury car even plans to have a heated foot massager in the rear-seat footwell.

Fagschlunger points out that there is a 500kg difference between the entry-level six-cylinder 740i and the twin-motor electric i7 in its next-generation 7 Series limo.

car news
BMW M760

Even that won’t be the heaviest BMW, because the plug-in hybrid XM from M will be even heavier, he admitted.

“Let’s see what the future brings, because energy will be reduced to a lower volume and more energy in the same weight or less weight. That’s the way battery development goes.

“Size of cars will have a natural ending someday, when you can’t fit in the garage or turn around on the street corner. That day is getting closer.

“More comfort now will not gain more weight. Technologies to get comfort are getting smarter. You can kill road noise with masses all around the car, or you can have active road noise cancellation.”

car news
BMW i7

But while BMW made its reputation with light, well-balanced, fine-handling cars, it no longer attacks weight with the enthusiasm it did in the 1980s and 1990s, and there are real fears that weight could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“There is not one single person holding the line on weight at BMW, but there are many people,” said Fagschlunger.

“But as weight gains and gains, it’s getting harder to bring the safety we want, and to bring the safety we want we have to get heavier again, so it’s a vicious circle.

“Cars were getting heavier even without electrification, with safety regulations and then NCAP and then luxury.”

car news
BMW X7

From under 1500kg, the original 7 Series rose to a minimum of 1720kg for the second generation in 1986, then flat-lined for two generations, with the third-generation E38 and the F10 of 2009 dieting slightly to 1710kg.

The top end, though, rose from the 1930kg of the V12 versions of the 1986 E32 to 2085kg for 1994’s E38 and 2040kg for the 2009 F10.

But the weight of BMW’s limousine has been uncomfortably eclipsed by luxury its own SUVs.

The volume-selling BMW X5 now weighs between 2060kg and 2286kg – before options are added – while the 2022 BMW X7 weighs between 2480kg and an eye-watering 2560kg for the upcoming PHEV version.

Join the conversation at our Facebook page
Or email us at editor@carsales.com.au

TECH NEWS RELATED

Yurukill: The Calumniation Games (Switch) Review

One of the weirdest genre crossovers I’ve ever played, even if parts of it are eerily familiar. You’d be forgiven for not fully knowing the meaning of Yurukill: The Calumniation Games’ subtitle. Merriam Webster defines the verb calumniate as “to utter maliciously false statements, charges, or imputations.” After learning that ...

View more: Yurukill: The Calumniation Games (Switch) Review

The Evil One – The Man with the White Eyes Revealed

Films based on books are already commonplace. Games based on books however, are only really a handful. But developer RedDeer.Games have just announced a new title based on a cult Polish crime novel, coming to Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch. It’s called The Evil One and ...

View more: The Evil One – The Man with the White Eyes Revealed

How Much Do EV Batteries Cost?

Over time, battery packs can lose capacity and may not be able to recharge to the same level as they could when new, eventually requiring replacement.

View more: How Much Do EV Batteries Cost?

Mini Countryman S Spied On Video Being Pushed Hard At Nurburgring

The S variant could arrive with a 302-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter engine.

View more: Mini Countryman S Spied On Video Being Pushed Hard At Nurburgring

Tesla Already Planning Huge Giga Texas Expansion: Permits Filed

While reports claim Tesla is struggling to hire workers and get factories ramped up, the EV maker is already planning expansion.

View more: Tesla Already Planning Huge Giga Texas Expansion: Permits Filed

Watch Chevrolet Silverado EV Engineering Truck On GM's Test Tracks

GM and Mary Barra shared "spy shots" and video of the Silverado EV testing at the company's proving grounds.

View more: Watch Chevrolet Silverado EV Engineering Truck On GM's Test Tracks

Study Predicts Both Ford And GM Will Overtake Tesla By 2025

2022 "Car Wars" report forecasts Ford and GM each will have roughly 15% EV market share while Tesla will plummet from 70% to 11%.

View more: Study Predicts Both Ford And GM Will Overtake Tesla By 2025

Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling On or Off? What’s the Difference

With so many different settings on Windows, some of the niche ones are easy to miss. That’s the case with hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling, even years after it was introduced to Windows users. A deeper understanding of what hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling is and the drawbacks and benefits can help you ...

View more: Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling On or Off? What’s the Difference

How to Upgrade Graphics Card the Right Way

Tour de France 2022: The tech making the world's biggest cycling race the most engaging yet

Google slams the door on dozens of hack-for-hire groups

Gary Anderson on Williams’ Red Bull/Ferrari ‘blend’

7 new movies and TV shows on Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max and more this weekend (July 1)

Australia vs England live stream: how to watch Summer International rugby online from anywhere

Why a Zero Trust philosophy is an evolution to secure enterprises

Android users at risk of new wallet-draining attacks

Ford Fiesta ST vs Hyundai i20 N vs MINI Cooper S: which should you buy?

Should You Buy the 2022 Nissan Frontier or 2022 Ford Maverick?

The Best Computer Monitors of 2022

Overwatch 2’s Junker Queen Feels More Like a DPS Hero Than a Tank

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News