What’s better than one i7? Two i7s!

Just as we learned that BMW’s plans for its OG electric car, the i3, will conclude once the current-generation model ends its production run comes word that a fully electric version of the BMW 7 Series is already in the works. The model — expected to carry the “i7” name — not only brings the automaker’s 7 Series lineup into the all-electric fold but, more importantly, there are rumors that it would spawn two different versions with each bringing significant power and performance capabilities to the table. The i7 has already been identified, but now, talks of an i7S are heating up, paving the way for a double dose of BMW electrification from the automaker’s 7 Series family. Just when you thought BMW is out of surprises, it pulls out something like this. Seems like the automaker’s electrification plans are well, indeed, underway.

The Future BMW 7 Series EV, Dubbed i7, Will Be More Capable Than You Think Exterior
- image 815740

BMW’s plans to offer as many as 13 electric vehicles in the next decade is well-established. The German automaker has even made strides in that goal as several electric vehicles — the iX3, i4, and iNext SUV, among them — are already in the pipeline. The German automaker has taken great lengths to keep that momentum going. It’s even trademarked model names, doing so for the i1 to i9 and the iX1 to iX9. It’s not a foregone conclusion that all trademarked names will represent a specific electric vehicle, but, in addition to what’s been established, one of those trademarked names — the i7 — will spawn an electric model that’s scheduled to arrive sometime in 2022 or 2023.

The BMW i7 will be the all-electric version of the 7 Series.

Even though details are still scarce at this point, we already know that BMW wants to put an electric model in that space to compete against the Tesla Model S and all the other electric saloons that will hit the market in the coming years. But BMW being BMW, there’s always an ace up the German automaker’s sleeve. That ace was revealed in a recent report from BMWBlog to be the BMW i7S.

The Future BMW 7 Series EV, Dubbed i7, Will Be More Capable Than You Think
- image 815741

Oh, yes. The BMW i7 won’t be the only all-electric version of the 7 Series. If the report holds true, there will also be a more powerful i7S that would be better-equipped to compete against some of the high-powered all-electric saloons that will be out and about in the wild in the next decade. According to the report, the i7 will come with a 100-kWh battery, a power output of around 550 horsepower, and a range of around 360 miles. Those are impressive numbers that can compete with models like the Polestar 1 and lower-spec versions of the Tesla Model S. For its part, Mercedes’ offering remains in concept form — the Vision EQS — though Mercedes is throwing out its own ambitious goals, including range capability of more than 430 miles on a single charge.

BMW’s decision to roll out a more powerful i7S version is a good move, in part because multiple model offerings have become the template to follow in this segment. The Model S, for example, has a few versions of its range-topping 100D version. The recently unveiled Porsche Taycan will be offered in Turbo and Turbo S forms. Even Mercedes could use a similar strategy when development begins for the production version of the Vision EQS.

The i7S is BMW’s answer to all of that. Not only is it reportedly utilizing a bigger 120-kWh battery, but it's also rumored to carry around 670 horsepower.

That figure doesn’t quite reach the levels of the Taycan Turbo S, but it’s right smack in the same landing zone as the 671-horsepower Taycan Turbo. The expected range of the i7S should also reach around 360 miles.

The Future BMW 7 Series EV, Dubbed i7, Will Be More Capable Than You Think
- image 815760

As promising as these reports are, the projected timetable of the i7 and i7S suggests that BMW is still in the early stages of development with regards to the two models. According to BMWBlog, engineers are “working round the clock” to make sure that both the i7 and the i7S can live up to the standards and expectations of BMW’s customer size. Then again, living up to expectations is just one of multiple challenges that need to be addressed. There’s also the issue that comes with the expected size of both the i7 and i7S. Since we’re talking about a full-sized luxury performance saloon, BMW might be required to use a heavy set of batteries and some powerful electric motors to reach the power levels it wants out of both models, specifically the i7S.

It should behoove the German automaker, too, that when it comes to developing these two electric models, no stones should be left unturned to ensure that it can compete with its expected rivals in the segment. Make no mistake, BMW will have its hands full against luxury electric sedans like the Polestar 1 and whatever comes out of the Mercedes Vision EQS Concept and the Audi e-tron GT Concept. The Model S and the Taycan Turbo/Turbo S combo present their own share of challenges, and while we’re here, don’t sleep on the kind of influence that Chinese luxury electric sedans can have on the market, provided that these models are of the same standard as their western counterparts.

The Future BMW 7 Series EV, Dubbed i7, Will Be More Capable Than You Think Exterior
- image 815743
BMW’s decision to launch the i7 is a smart one, especially if it wants to bolster its all-electric lineup by the turn of the decade.

The decision to offer the i7S, if that ends up happening, is a smart one, too. It’s not enough to have just the i7 holding the fort for Bimmer in this burgeoning space. The competition will be heavy and it will be tough for the German automaker. But just as we’re lauding Bimmer developing the i7, we should also pay close attention to what the German automaker makes out of these two models. It’s not enough to have a horse in this race. You need a horse that, at the very least, will be competitive.

For now, all signs point to the i7 and i7S being competitive. Whether they can take that to the next level and become serious contenders in the segment remains to be seen. Fortunately, this is BMW we’re talking about. There’s no such thing as a challenge not worth beating for the German automaker.

Further reading

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior
- image 815776

Read our full review on the 2020 BMW 7 Series.

2022 BMW i4 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 776434

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW i4.

2018 BMW iNext Concept
- image 795849

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW iNext Concept.

2020 BMW iX3
- image 780688

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW iX3.

Source: BMW Blog

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: