There’s no replacement for displacement… except maybe electric motors.

Like the dinosaurs before them, large, inefficient engines are going extinct. Most companies are moving to smaller four- and six-cylinder engines aided by battery power instead. And BMW is not immune; a new rumour says that the next 7 Series saloon could drop its V8 and V12 engines in place of electrification.

The newly minted 2020 7 Series, according to a report from BMWBlog, will be the last version with V8 and V12 options. The reworked 4.4-litre V8 in the 750i produces 523 bhp – 80 bhp more than before – and the 6.6-litre V12-powered 760i produces 600 bhp. But the upcoming G70 7 Series won't be so powerful.

Like most new BMWs, the new 7 Series could use the same 3.0-litre inline-six (B58) from cars like the 2 Series and 3 Series. The only difference is that the 7 Series will have full electrification. In fact, it's reported that BMW will offer both a plug-in 7 Series and a mild-hybrid option with a variation of the same six-cylinder engine. But these won't be underpowered options like the current plug-in.

Combined output for the entry-level, hybrid-powered 7 Series will reportedly be 563 bhp and 590 pound-feet of torque. That would give it more power than the current V8, and way more power than the newest plug-in, which only produces 389 bhp combined.

Whatever the case, we won't see a new new BMW 7 Series for some time. The 2020 model debuted in January, and won't go on sale in the UK until April. The luxury limo hybrid will be available in a choice of long- and short-wheelbase guises, with prices starting at £76,815.