As excited as we all are about BMW M’s upcoming performance models, the future of the brand — and where it’s main focus is — is electrification. BMW’s upcoming electric models will be its most important models, as it slowly transitions into a mostly electric automaker. Recently, BMW CTO Frank Weber briefed the press on the future of electrification, as well as the BMW i7.
The next important EV for BMW is the i7. Not only will the i7 be based on the next-gen 7 Series — which is the brand’s most expensive luxury car — but the i7 will be BMW’s technological flagship. The BMW i7 will combine all of the luxury features that make the 7 Series BMW’s flagship luxury car with its most advanced battery and electric motor tech.
“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,” said Weber.
Interestingly, the upcoming BMW i7 will get a slightly different battery package than the BMW iX. “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. According to Weber, the i7’s electric powertrain and battery pack are about 80-percent similar to those found in the iX.
What’s even more exciting is that there will be a very special, more powerful version of the BMW i7 coming later on. According to Weber, the twelve-cylinder engine was such a big part of the 7 Series’ history that, for the i7, BMW needed an electric equivalent.
“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. So you will see a special version of the 7 Series which is actually also the most powerful version of the 7 Series,” he said.
If you’re hoping for drastically different looks between the 7 Series and i7, though, you’re going to be disappointed. BMW wanted to keep both cars similar looking, so that 7 Series customers really just choose whichever powertrain they want.
“We want to do the best electric vehicles and we want to be the best combustion engine vehicles and, it’s a 7 Aeries, people make their choices,” Weber said. “[There are] no visual differences, it’s a 7 [Series], pick whatever you prefer. The BMW 7 Series and i7 will be making their official debuts next month, which will kick off the brand’s future of luxury technology.