BMW has released the first official images of the i7 luxury electric saloon, which is currently undergoing winter testing ahead of an expected 2022 launch.
Disguised prorotypes of the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz EQS rival were shown completing final suspension tuning at the firm's winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden.
BMW has confirmed the new EV will use its fifth-generation eDrive system, which is currently found in the iX electric luxury SUV. It will ride on BMW’s flexible CLAR platform, which is already used for the iX and the i4 electric saloon, as well as ICE models including the latest 2 Series Coupé.
Although powertrain specifics remain under wraps, the dual-motor setup used by the iX xDrive50 produces 516bhp. In this form, the iX is capable of 0-62mph in 4.6sec and an electronically limited 124mph top speed, so the i7 should post broadly similar figures.
The iX will initially be available in three forms, xDrive40, xDrive50 and top-rung M60, with the latter packing more than 600bhp, and the i7 is likely to roughly follow suit.
The 105.2kWh lithium ion battery pack in the iX is claimed to be capable of up to 390 miles of range, and if equipped with the same unit, the lower-slung i7 could improve upon that.
While ride comfort remains crucial, BMW also emphasised that driving dynamics will be key to the i7's appeal and help to differentiate it from other upcoming luxury EVs, including the next-generation Audi A8, which was recently previewed by the radical Grandsphere concept.
BMW confirmed last year that the next-generation 7 Series would arrive with petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric powetrains, allowing it to complete with the combustion-powered Mercedes-Benz S-Class as well as the electric EQS.
Despite the camouflage, there's a clear family resemblance to the outgoing 7 Series, which is set to end production next year. There's also a chance the kidney grilles will be more reserved than on other recent BMW models, such as the outlandish XM Concept.