As it’s always the case with a new flagship, the next 7 Series is important for a variety of reasons. Not only will it usher in new combustion engines, but also the first-ever i7. BMW has been teasing its fullsize sedan with zero emissions for a while, and now the Mercedes EQS rival has returned. A clip published by the company’s “i” sub-brand on Instagram shows the 7er EV being tested in the snow.
While the prototype is still fully camouflaged and missing the final lights, it does confirm one feature. For a brief moment, we can see the digital screen with the same graphics as the ones available in the iX. Needless to say, it can only mean the i7 will get the iDrive 8 infotainment with side-by-side screens. These will likely be housed within a slightly curved single piece of glass to mirror the SUV’s setup.
The driver’s display reveals BMW is testing the i7 at the Arctic Circle at -34 degrees Celsius (-29.2 degrees Fahrenheit). Rest assured the electric luxobarge will work accordingly at temperatures well below 0 degrees. As to whether the range will have to suffer, a test conducted in 2020 by the Norwegian Automobile Federation showed a nearly 20% drop. The analysis also concluded recharging an EV in the cold takes longer than in warm weather.
New Rear-Wheel Steering Setup?
The teaser briefly shows one of the rear wheels, but we can’t tell whether the BMW i7 has rear-wheel steering. In the case of the EQS, it has a standard angle of 4.5 degrees and can be optionally configured with a more sophisticated 10-degree setup. Big cars such as the 7 Series certainly need one to reduce the turning circle and improve handling.
In late 2021, BMW patented an evolution of its rear-wheel steering, although it’s unclear whether the 7er will get it. The Bavarian range topper has had Integral Active Steering since 2008, so the technology isn’t exactly new. In fact, Nissan was the first to install all-wheel steering in the Skyline (R31) launched at the end of 1985.
With the 7 Series / i7 debuting before the end of the year, expect BMW to kick the teaser campaign into a higher gear in the coming months.
[Source: BMW i / Instagram]