BMW’s i7 all-electric saloon is currently undergoing extreme weather testing in Arjeplog, Sweden, in preparation for its launch in 2022.
Set to sit alongside the BMW 7 Series at the top of BMW’s saloon line-up, i7 EV prototypes are being prepared for anything drivers may throw at it, including sub-zero temperatures.
Based out of the established testing centre at Arjeplog, a number of manufacturers head to north Sweden in winter months to put forthcoming models to the test.
Considering the effect cold weather can have on an EV’s range, there is arguably greater importance to test EVs in and around the Arctic Circle than other fuel types.
The i7 will share suspension, steering, braking, and vehicle stability systems with the next generation of BMW’s 7 Series saloon, and the new components are being designed to deliver performance.
Benefits of operating in the far north include cold weather testing, as well as honing systems such as stability control and more mechanical operations like handling set-up. Driving on frozen lakes allows for greater development in fine margins, something also important when setting up brake energy recuperation systems.
Extreme condition testing tends to be one of the final hurdles in setting up a new model, both in freezing and extremely hot environments.
Pitched as the first all-electric luxury saloon – though BMW seems to have forgotten the already available Mercedes-Benz EQS – the i7 will be built on the same platform and powertrain as the iX SUV. That means we can expect more than 370 miles of range from a larger battery version, all likely to arrive in the second half of 2022.
For SME directors looking for a luxury electric saloon rather than an SUV, then the i7 – which will have a company car tax rate of just 2% – looks like it should join leasing choice lists.