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BMW i7 to debut alongside 7 Series PHEV

The world debut of the BMW i7 has been confirmed for April. We get a couple of teaser photos of the car, revealing the massive illuminated twin kidney grille and part of the tiered headlight layout. BMW says that the upper lighting elements are made of crystal and should give the car a distinct look.

The rest of the teasers give us a glimpse of the BMW i7’s interior, which will get the latest version of the iDrive interface. Complementing the curved display will be new light strips on the dash and doors that will provide visual warnings. The BMW Interaction bar goes beyond being part of the ambient lighting system and adds integrated controls. An updated Sky Lounge panoramic glass roof now has LED light threads that can be adjusted individually. The MyMode feature also gets expanded beyond the car’s driving characteristics. It also allows you to tailor the interior atmosphere.

Quite possibly the highlight of the i7’s interior is the new BMW Theatre Screen. Instead of two individual displays, you get a massive 31-inch screen that folds out of the headliner and features a 32:9 display format and 8k streaming. This effectively turns the car into a theater on wheels where rear-seat passengers can relax and watch something while getting whisked to their next destination.

The new BMW 7 Series is absolutely trailblazing in every respect. Like no other model, the BMW 7 Series stands for BMW’s innovative strength,” said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Development. “The all-electric BMW i7 is also the most powerful BMW 7 Series. It combines the best driving experience with the ultimate digital experience. This makes it the ideal vehicle for forward-thinking, responsible decision-makers and avant-garde pioneers

On the powertrain front, the i7 will mark the debut of BMW’s sixth-generation battery-electric powertrain. We expect the motors to be a brushed design just like their predecessor so that they don’t require the use of rare-earth metals. BMW didn’t disclose the battery size yet but it expects its new all-electric flagship to get an EPA rating of 305 miles on a single charge. It also touts the i7 as the most powerful member of the new-generation 7 Series family, meaning it’s certain to get a dual-motor configuration as standard.

Built on BMW’s CLAR platform, the i7 will be the third new battery-electric vehicle in the brand’s lineup following the iX and i4. It won’t be the last, though, because the next-generation 5 Series is also getting a BEV variant dubbed the i5. On the opposite side of the spectrum from the i7 will be the iX1, the all-electric variant of the X1, which will serve as the entry point to BMW’s all-electric model line. Unlike the other models, the iX1 will be on the FAAR architecture shared with the new 2 Series Active Tourer and the upcoming third-generation Mini Countryman.

In addition to the BMW i7, the new 7 Series will also be available as a plug-in hybrid. This variant will serve as the bridge for consumers who aren’t ready to jump into a BEV yet. The current 745e uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six coupled to an electric motor, a 12.0-kWh lithium-ion battery, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Its combined output stands at 389 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Expect the new 7 Series plug-in to get the same refinements as the X5 xDrive45e. That means it’ll be getting the larger 24-kWh battery, which should extend its all-electric range beyond 30 miles per charge.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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