BMW has released the latest teaser images of its new, all-electric i7 luxury sedan under-going extreme weather testing in the Arctic Circle.
The program is being conducted at the BMW Group’s winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, in preparation for the i7’s scheduled unveil early next year.
While most of the technical details are still being kept under wraps, BMW has confirmed that the i7 will use the company’s fifth-generation eDrive electric powertrain, as indeed does the marque’s iX electric luxury SUV. As a result, much of the Arjeplog tests are focused on the sedan’s battery, motor, temperature control system and electrical componentry, in order to “prove their high level of maturity in extreme sub-zero temperatures.”
Given their shared e-drive technology, tt’s likely the i7 use the 71 kWh and/or 105.2 kWh battery packs at the base of the iX, meaning a theoretical electric range of between 400 and 600 km, if not more. Though unconfirmed, speculation mounts that the i7 will feature a dual electric motor setup – akin to the 7 Series’ all-wheel drive configuration – producing power around the 515 hp mark. BMW has confirmed though that power consumption combined for the i7 will be between 22.5 and 19.5 kWh per 100 km.
On top of the electrics, BMW is also keen to establish a fine balance between sporting pretensions – the Bavarian brand’s modus operandi – and a cosseting ride for its new electric limousine during these ‘driving dynamics’ tests. The company itself states that, with the i7, “it will be possible to experience a maximum in characteristic BMW dynamics, comfort and supremacy in the luxury class with absolutely zero local emissions.” Safe to assume then that a lot of time on the Swedish ice will be spent ironing out any and all creases in the wheel suspension, springs and dampers.
The i7 will be sold alongside the next generation 7 Series, meaning the pair will share BMW’s electrically-leaning CLAR platform, which was also designed to accommodate ICE drivetrains. The I7 will likely rival Mercedes’ luxury EQS, an EV extension of the latter’s flagship S-Class. Pricing has yet to be revealed, but with Mercedes’ 516-hp EQS available from $144,200, don’t expect the new i7 to limbo too far below the $145K mark, either.