BMW has given a sneak peek at its new i7, an all-electric variant of its upcoming 7 Series luxury saloon. It’s very close to production, with these images coming from final testing of its refinement with noise and emission testing.
Using a special rolling road at BMW’s FIZ Research and Innovation Centre, full driving situations are being simulated realistically to test just how well the new all-electric limo isolates its occupants from noises and vibrations. The loudspeaker system in the facility can authentically recreate everything from day-to-day traffic, to construction sites with passing trucks.
The i7 has been shaped effectively to reduce wind noise, with a flat underbody, optimised mirrors, integrated door handles and smooth body surfaces. BMW has also aimed for noiseless power delivery from the electric motor, meaning the drive units needed to be acoustically optimised with model-specific mountings and noise encapsulation. The i7 won’t be silent for the driver, however, as BMW has in conjunction with Oscar-winning Hollywood musician Hanz Zimmer, developed what it calls IconincSounds.
What else do we know about the i7 and new 7 Series in general? Well, as seems to be BMW’s remit these days, it’ll have a controversial snout, using a split lighting layout, with elements lower and higher than where a conventional light unit would sit. Other than that, it’s actually a little more conventional in shape than the slippery Mercedes EQS, which shares far less with its internal combustion S-Class sibling than the i7 will with the 7 Series. Think i4 and 4 Series Gran Coupe but upscaled.
BMW claims the i7 will achieve between 22.5 and 19.5 kWh/100km, meaning with a 100kWh battery it’d be good for over 300 miles of range by WLTP measurements. Not spectacular, given the 453-mile rating of the furthest-driving Mercedes EQS. Final numbers will come as you’d expect with the final reveal of the car, which could come later this year at the 2022 Paris Motor Show.