In 2022, BMW will unveil the i7 all-electric luxury sedan.
The i7 is not too far from series production, currently undergoing driving dynamics testing under freezing conditions in Sweden.
For reference, the recently-released BMW iX electric SUV completed its final cold-weather testing session in December 2020 and was unveiled to the world in March 2021.
The BMW i7 is therefore expected to debut alongside the upcoming internal-combustion 7 Series in 2022, with the electric Mercedes-Benz EQS firmly in its crosshairs.
What we know
There has been very little revealed about the BMW i7 to date.
So far, BMW has said it will be “based on the same vehicle concept as all further model variants of the BMW 7 Series” and feature the fifth generation of the company’s eDrive technology.
This points to the possibility of the i7 featuring the same 76.6kWh and 111.5kWh batteries found in the iX, as well as a four-wheel drive system.
The base BMW iX generates 240kW and 630Nm and provides up to 425km of driving range, and we expect the entry-level i7 to mimic these numbers.
Looking at the heavily-camouflaged sedan in more detail provides a few additional clues as to what we might see next year.
The signature kidney grille looks to be there, although less dominant than in the current 7 Series.
The headlights have a split setup and appear more angular, while the side air intakes now flow out of the headlights and share similarities with that of the facelifted X3 SUV.
The prototype i7 also shows angled bars on the grille, making it likely to feature the active kidney grille seen on many new-age BMWs.
Additionally, the front fascia has a never-before-seen gap in the centre of the two grille sections, along with a flat area where the intelligent driver-assist systems’ sensors will presumably be placed.
On its front bumper, the prototype also has a series of holes – alluding to the possibility the i7 will get a functional front lip – although this might only be part of the camouflage.
At the rear, barely any details can be seen, apart from two cutouts flanking the number plate and a central indent on the boot lid.
The new i7 should look decidedly different than the 2021 7 Series, with a few of these early elements signaling back to the famous “Sharknose” days of BMW design.
Apart from the tidbits BMW has shared, there are few confirmed details about the new i7.
There are, however, several rumours which have been circulated – none of them confirmed by BMW.
Autoweek reported that alongside the standard specifications – likely called eDrive40 and eDrive50 – a sportier “M60” may join the line-up at a later time.
Motor Authority said the i7 and new 7 Series will be underpinned by the current-generation’s CLAR platform that can support multiple powertrains.
In addition, several reports state that the entry-level asking price for the i7 is expected to be around $100,000 (R1,582,500) in the United States.
However, the current BMW 7 Series in South Africa has a starting price of R1,950,730 – with the next generation anticipated to come in over R2 million.
The i7 will undoubtedly not be a base-spec model in the 7 Series line-up, and it’s highly probable that it will have an asking price far above this.