There is a whole economy of photographers who take “spy shots” of preproduction cars and then sell those shots to publications, including, in the past, rags like Jalopnik, but, increasingly, manufacturers are opting to cut out the middle man and release their own pictures. Cue the BMW and the i7.
This is the car that will eventually replace the 7 Series, an all-electric luxury sedan, or saloon if you’re British, that looks like an all-electric sedan, with lights in interesting places and a charging port. BMW said it had the i7 out recently doing some testing in snowy, cold conditions in Arjeplog, Sweden. BMW says the i7 is “the world’s first all-electric luxury saloon,” which I guess is based on the fact that the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S are liftbacks, but, hmm.
Anyway, BMW said the formal launch will be next year. In the meantime, it wants to ensure prospective buyers that it is putting the i7 through its paces in the cold.
Suspension components, together with steering, braking and vehicle stability systems, that are being developed for the future generation of the BMW 7 Series will be honed to perfection in the extreme climate. Specifically, springs, dampers and various regulating systems will be subject to performance-orientated tuning to ensure maximum driver feedback and enjoyment to match the several different drive modes.
Amongst the extremely challenging winter conditions, Lapland’s frozen lakes with their low road friction coefficient provide the opportunity for meticulous development of the steering, Dynamic Stability Control system (DSC) and the accurately regulated interaction between friction brake and deceleration by means of energy recuperation.
The intensive winter testing programme also focuses on the components of the all-electric drive system. The BMW i7’s electric drive, high-voltage battery, power electronics and charging technology all originate from the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology, which already provides exceptional sustainable driving pleasure in the BMW iX. Above all, it is the motor, the battery and the temperature control system of the BMW i7 that prove their advanced technology and durability in the extreme sub-zero temperatures common to the north of Sweden.
BMW probably doesn’t want to hear it, but whatever they want to call the i7, its real-world competitors are cars like the Tesla Model S, the Mercedes EQS, the Lucid Air, and Porsche Taycan, and probably also to some degree the Polestar 2. We’ll learn range and price closer to the i7's release, but you can expect those figures to be “just fine” and “expensive,” respectively. We’ll also learn later if this car is coming to America, but it probably will, as the EQS is. The big news today, really, is for all those spy photogs who have been scooped.