Here we go again, with carmakers publishing their own “spy shots” showing off yet-to-be-announced models undergoing testing. Sorry, BMW, but the charm about spy shots is their inherent blurriness and mystique, as carmakers are still trying to keep their secret under wraps. When you hire your own photographers to do these photoshoots, the magic just falls apart.

Okay, sorry, we got carried away. Why are we here again? Oh, right – what you’re looking at here is the upcoming all-new i7, BMW’s shiny new flagship electric sedan that will eventually replace the 7 Series in the future, undergoing its final endurance tests in the icy weather of BMW Group winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden.

A more traditional three-box shape, so I guess BMW is technically right…

Interestingly, BMW calls the i7 the “world’s first all-electric luxury sedan” – which I guess is fair enough since the Teslas, Taycans, and Mercedes-Benz EQ models are technically liftbacks/fastbacks, but it still doesn’t really sit right with me.

But let’s not fixate on technicalities, because there’s a brand-new car in front of us that we can pore over. And from what we can see (over the inordinate amount of camouflage), it does indeed appear to carry a more traditional three-box design, with a charging port above the right rear wheel arch, and headlights at a bizarrely low position on the front fascia.

BMW says the i7 will be officially launched sometime next year, which means we’ll probably get to see more details of the new flagship EV model pretty soon. But at the meantime, the car is currently being tested for driving dynamics, as well as “integrated application of all drive and suspension systems”.

Specifically, the suspension components, steering, braking, and vehicle stability systems are all being subjected to “performance-oriented tuning” in line with the car’s different driving modes “to ensure maximum driver feedback and enjoyment”, while the low-friction surface of Lapland’s frozen lakes also give the engineers a chance to hone in on the car’s Dynamic Stability Control system.

Aren’t these headlights just a little too… low?

On top of that, the extreme sub-zero temperatures at the north of Sweden also makes it a perfect test bed for the electric powertrain’s temperature control system, ensuring the motor and batteries remain completely functional in all weather and conditions.

No further information have been provided in terms of powertrain, but BMW says that the upcoming i7 will feature a powertrain based off of its fifth-generation eDrive technology, so we won’t be surprised if it closely follows the iX‘s performance figures.

Either way, BMW’s entrance to the electric executive sedan(-ish) space has been a long time coming. With so many players competing for the same piece of pie, it’ll certainly be interesting to see what the Munich-based carmaker will pull out of its hat to claim the top spot against the other heavy hitters. Stay tuned.


GALLERY