BMW shows the upcoming battery-electric i7 sedan testing in Sweden, ahead of the model's full reveal early next year.
The BMW i7 will borrow the drivetrain of the iX sport utility, and is expected to be offered in three trim levels, with a maximum range of over 330 miles.
Earlier last week BMW revealed teaser images of its upcoming flagship electric sedan, dubbed i7. Intended to competed with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQS, Lucid Air, and the Tesla Model S, the BMW i7 will arrive next year alongside a new generation of the 7-Series, joining two other electric models from the automaker that arrived in the second half of this year.
Prototypes of the i7 are currently in Arjeplog, Sweden, where they are undergoing driving dynamics testing.
"In Lapland's winter landscape, the test engineers find the perfect preconditions for this. During test drives around the snow-covered roads around Arjeplog, they are able to test and optimize all functions under extremely challenging conditions in order to achieve an absolutely harmonious and BMW-typical driving experience," the automaker said. "Moreover, they make use of test surfaces on frozen lakes with their low road friction coefficient in order to achieve particularly fine tuning of suspension control systems."
What can we expect from the BMW i7?
The sedan is considered likely to use the drivetrain of the iX electric sport utility, the first deliveries of which are expected to start in a matter of days. This means the i7 is like to feature a 105.2-kWh battery coupled with a dual-motor layout.
We expect the i7 to be offered in three trim levels, following the hierarchy of the iX SUV: i7 eDrive40, i7 eDrive50 and i7 M60, with the base model offering 322 hp and 420 lb-ft torque. The eDrive50 model, meanwhile, is expected to serve up 516 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque. A third, sportier M60 version is likely to offer at least 600 hp when it arrives a little later.
When it comes to range the i7 is certainly expect to land north of the 300-mile mark in base form, given the advertised range of the iX. But just how much more range the i7 may squeeze out of the iX drivetrain is an open question, even though over 330 miles in the EPA cycle in the base version certainly seems feasible. How much range the longest-ranged version will be able to do remains to be seen.
"The suspension components, steering and braking systems as well as driving dynamics and vehicle stability systems developed for the future generation of the BMW 7-Series are designed to raise the balance between sportiness and ride comfort so typical of the brand's luxury sedans to the next level," the automaker added. "This also includes performance-oriented tuning of the wheel suspension, springs, dampers and various regulating systems to match the various different drive types. They all undergo intensive testing in Arjeplog under extreme climate conditions."
When it comes to pricing, the i7 is expected to start around the $100,000 when it arrives on sale in the second half of 2022, stretching to around $140,000 for the M60 performance model. This will place the entry model a bit above the starting price of the iX, which sits at $84,195.
Unlike the gas-engined 7-Series, the i7 is expected to be offered in a single wheelbase, and may likely skip a single-motor setup. This will keep things simple, and geared toward customer expectations—variants with lower demand are not something that automakers can indulge in at the moment when it comes to electric cars. The three available trims with different outputs and ranges will mirror the trim ladder of the iX sport utility, which will also give us a good idea of the expected range, once the EPA numbers for the iX are announced.
We'll see the i7 on sale in the second half of 2022, though perhaps not all three versions at the same time.