Automakers are constantly promoting their efforts in creating more efficient and greener cars. However, while their statements are mostly true, nearly every new model gets heavier than its predecessor, which affects the efficiency negatively. Thankfully, BMW believes we’ve finally reached the point where cars won’t get any heavier in the future.
With a weight of 5,820 pounds (2,640 kilograms) without anybody sitting in it, the all-new i7 is currently the heaviest BMW model, together with the facelifted X7 which tips the scales at 5,467 lbs (2,480 kg) without the driver. However, Christoph Fagschlunger, the project manager of the new BMW 7 Series family, said in a recent interview those cars are basically the ceiling when it comes to vehicle weight. Or, put simply, he doesn’t expect future cars to get heavier than these numbers. Or at least not significantly.
Gallery: 2023 BMW i7
“For us, the weight limits for licenses are still sufficient for the i7,” Fagschlunger told CarSales. “I don’t think cars will get heavier than they are now, and there are many reasons for that. For us, as a company that offers passenger vehicles, it is still possible to cover all the requirements within the existing weight restrictions.”
But what causes the seemingly endless surge of vehicle weight? Some might urge this is due mainly to the electrification and increased safety – and that’s partially correct – but there’s one factor that has an even greater effect. That’s comfort and luxury and Fagschlunger admitted a modern driver’s seat, for example, is at least 88 lbs (40 kg) heavier than it was 20 years ago.
“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,” Fagschlunger added.
The vehicle weight at BMW has gone through the roof in the last few years and we are happy to learn the limit has apparently been reached. In fact, the new i7 and X7 will remain the brand's heaviest car only until the flagship XM SUV debuts. Fagschlunger admitted to CarAdvice that this new model with a plug-in hybrid powertrain will actually be even heavier than the luxury sedan and refreshed X7. Yikes!