BMW must have missed the world premiere of the Mercedes EQS because it claims that the i7 will be “the world’s first pure electric luxury salon.” Anyway, these excellent photos were taken in Arjeplog, Sweden where the BMW Group has a winter test center. It is currently used to put the finishing touches on the drive and suspension systems in the first electric 7 Series.
Bavaria adopts the “Power of Choice” strategy for its next flagship by selling the luxury mountain with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains. The world premiere is scheduled to take place next year when we will also see i7. For now we get another opportunity to see a completely camouflaged prototype that carries the production body, but not the last headlights and taillights.
After seeing the wild Concept XM earlier this week, we can now firmly say that the upcoming flagship salon will also have an already controversial split headlight design. The visible lights at the front are a temporary set for low beam / high beam while the upper strip of warning light remains hidden under the disguise.
As spy photos have revealed, the i7 will look pretty much the same as the conventionally powered 7 Series. Why is it like that? Because unlike the EQS we mentioned earlier and its bespoke electric platform, the new crown jewel in the BMW series will use the same architecture as the versions equipped with internal combustion engines.
Driven on the frozen lakes just miles from the Arctic Circle, the i7 prototype features the company’s redesigned door handles that stay on par with the body for improved aerodynamics. The white door handles are nothing but stickers that sit just above the real ones. We also get to see the location of the charging port on the rear quarter panel on the passenger side.
BMW confirms that the electric 7 Series will use fifth-generation eDrive technology already implemented in the iX electric SUV. The silent sedan is currently being evaluated at temperatures well below zero to ensure that the battery and temperature control system are ready for work even in such a harsh climate. At the same time, engineers are also keeping an eye on the friction brakes and the automatic deceleration through the energy recovery system.
As the prototype is still missing some of the production pieces, it tells us that the official unveiling will probably take place in the second half of 2022. Sales should start at the end of next year or the beginning of 2023.