The BMW i7’s Role in the World Has Been Revealed - story fullscreen Fullscreen

The BMW i7’s Role in the World Has Been Revealed

The BMW i7 could be a gathering of all BMW’s knowledge into one incredibly awesome model

BMW is about to churn out some awesome, old-fashioned, fuel-guzzling vehicles over the next couple of years. Cars like the new and apparently brutal BMW M3 CS, the facelifted X5 and X6 M, and even the M3 Touring are just a small part of the brand’s immediate plans. Then you must factor in the modernized BMW XM that will have a hybrid V-8, which may actually trickle down to the first-ever BMW M7 – if you can believe that. Despite all of this, the brand’s long-term future is in electrification and its success into the next couple of decades will downright depend on it. The transition to electrification will be slow, but the first big step will be the i7. Now, BMW’s CTO, Frank Weber, has briefed us on the brand’s future in electrification and the BMW i7.

The i7 is BMW’s Technological Flagship

The BMW i7's Role in the World Has Been Revealed Exterior Spyshots
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The i7 might be the next important EV to roll out of BMW, but it’s going to continue being the most important EV in the brand’s portfolio. The i7 is based on the next-gen 7 Series, and with the 7 Series being BMW’s luxury flagship (and most expensive car), it’s no surprise that the i7 will be the brand’s technological flagship. It’s basically a combination of the brand’s best luxury features along with the brand’s most advanced electric motor, battery, and infotainment technology.

BMW CTO, Frank Weber, explained how the 7 Series isn’t just another product for BMW and how the i7 will showcase what the brand is capable of as it moves into the future:

“The 7 Series is not just a product for us. The 7 Series is a collection of our capabilities. It is what we are really able to do. The i7 is not only the most powerful electric vehicle we will do, it has a cinema experience in the second row, the doors will open automatically and close automatically — and it has a long, long list of things. It has art mode, so it has real digital art inside.”
The BMW i7's Role in the World Has Been Revealed
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The i7, while it will be an expensive electric luxury car, there’s more to it than that. It will be the most important EV in the brand’s portfolio

Like all automakers, BMW is doing everything it can to share components between electric models to cut down on development costs and, ultimately, keep pricing within a reasonable range. Not that the i7 will be cheap, but it won’t be supercar expensive, either. It will share a lot of components under the skin with the BMW iX, but it won’t share everything. According to Weber, the i7 will have a bespoke battery that’s not found with any other models. “Fundamentally, the 7 Series uses the same electric machine in the rear and in the front, using the same inverter technology so here they are identical. The i7 however, has a unique battery package.” he said. The powertrain and driveline in the i7 will apparently be around 80-percent similar that that of the iX.

The i7 Will Get More Impressive Over Time

The BMW i7's Role in the World Has Been Revealed Exterior Spyshots
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“What we thought is, after the twelve-cylinder died in the in the 7 Series, we believe that it deserves an adequate replacement that is all electric”

There is no doubt that when the BMW i7 is fully revealed, that it’s going to have a significant wow factor associated with it. We’re talking about automatic doors, digital art, extreme comfort, and amazing performance, all of which is packed into a build quality that will put Tesla to shame. But that’s also just the tip of the iceberg. See, there’s going to be an even more powerful and more special version of the BMW i7 coming in the future. With the legendary V-12 officially retired, there has to be something to take its place, and that’s where the range-topping i7 will come in. As Weber put it, the V-12 was such a big part of the 7 Series’ history that there has to be an i7 equivalent.

“What we thought is, after the twelve-cylinder died in the 7 Series, we believe that it deserves an adequate replacement that is all-electric. So you will see a special version of the 7 Series which is actually also the most powerful version of the 7 Series.”

Saying that it will also be the most powerful version of the 7 Series is actually a big takeaway, because the i7 won’t be all that different from the ICE-powered 7 Series. The idea is that by keeping the 7 Series and i7 lineup familiar in terms of appearance, it will be more about picking a drivetrain than choosing between the two models. As Weber put it, BMW wants to do “the best electric vehicles and we want to be the best combustion engine vehicles.” Apparently, it’s up to the customer to pick whatever they prefer without having to worry about appearance.

The good news is we don’t have to wait long to learn all the finer details as the new 7 Series and i7 will be revealed sometime next month (April 2022), and things are only going to get better from there.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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