As part of the development and testing process that all BMW models are subjected to ahead of series production, the BMW i7 is undergoing evaluation at BMW’s winter test center in Arjeplog, Sweden. Located just a few miles from the boundary of the arctic circle, the test center provides the ideal environment in which to evaluate the systems of the i7, including its fifth-generation eDrive technology.
What Is The BMW i7?
The BMW i7 is a prototype of an upcoming all-electric version of the 7 Series. Based on underpinnings shared with the next-generation 7 Series, the i7 is promised to be the world’s fest all-electric luxury sedan. Although styling remains hidden beneath a camouflage wrap, the front end design should resemble that of the XM concept, unveiled this week at Art Basel Miami Beach. As part of BMW’s broader model offensive, the i7 will eventually join the ranks of the i4 and iX—with which it shares its fifth-generation eDrive technology—as part of the automaker’s growing lineup of EVs.
BMW’s winter test center in Arjeplog, Sweden is where all of the automaker’s upcoming vehicle models are tested and evaluated in cold weather conditions. Beyond being a place where the effects of climate extremes on a vehicle and its various systems can be evaluated, Arjeplog also acts as a proving ground for chassis tuning and the fine-tuning of suspension systems. In addition to the snow-covered roads that BMW uses to push the limits of DSC programming, testing staff also makes use of frozen lakes and their inherent low friction coefficient.
In addition to providing unique road surface conditions, BMW’s cold-weather testing process also explores the limits and capability of the electric motors, batteries, and associated thermal control systems.
BMW i7 Specs
Although the i7 is expected to be unveiled sometime over the next year ahead of an introduction for the 2023 model year, many specific details surrounding the model remain unknown. The i7 is anticipated to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model S, Mercedes-Benz EQS, and Lucid Air. With this in mind, use of a pair of high-performance electric motors is expected, along with a starting MSRP roughly in line with the six-figure threshold.
Despite the fact that BMW says the i7 will be the world’s first luxury sedan powered purely by electricity, it faces a challenge from the likes of the established Tesla Model S and new Lucid Air. The i7 differs from these models in its prioritization of luxury and performance, however, and is likely to maintain its on-road prowess even when pushed to the limits of its capability, a realm in which other EVs tend to suffer. According to BMW, “for the first time, it will be possible to experience a maximum in characteristic BMW dynamics, comfort, and supremacy in the luxury class with absolutely zero local emissions.”—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]