With the electrified BMW 7-series arriving in earnest next month, the manufacturer has opted to push a few teasers photos to whet our collective apatite for oversized grilles. Despite the i7 being an all-electric vehicle, BMW has kept the oversized-grille motif we’ve already seen deployed on the 4 Series and similarly electric iX SUV.
It might not make a lot of sense from an engineering perspective. But Bavaria feels that the kidney grille is an essential part of the brand’s image, so important that it put a faux variant on the iX. While the i7 teasers appear to lack the painted-on geometric patterns, expect it to be another example of form over function. We just hope BMW actually offers owners the ability to open the hood without the aid of a special tool it doesn’t want you to have.
The big-grille theme has become somewhat controversial for the brand. I will admit to hating the design less today than I did when the BMW Concept 4 flared its massive nostrils at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. But we’ll have to wait to see how the i7’s beak plays off the rest of the design. Though bold styling looks assured, which has been pretty consistent with EVs of late. Automakers are seeking to differentiate their electric models without creating a complete disconnect from the rest of their product lineup, resulting in an interesting balancing act between bizarre and beautiful.
Based on images of the 7 Series test mules, it looks as though BMW doesn’t want to stray too far from the conventional model. They’ll debut together in April, giving us a side-by-side comparison before they both go on sale later this year.
Meanwhile, what few specs BMW has provided are looking quite promising. BMW suggested that the i7 will have a driving range of 305 miles on the U.S.-specific EPA cycle. While perhaps not quite as impressive as the 350 miles provided by the Mercedes-Benz EQS, it’s more than enough to show up every all-electric model in Audi’s present lineup.
The company has also been touting an in-car theater system that looks like it might make its very first appearance on the i7. Intended for rear passengers, the 31-inch screen falls down from the roof to create a partition between the driver and the person paying their salary. Offering up to 8K resolution, the unit is much wider than a normal television and can play any content utilizing 16:9, 21:9, and even 32:9 aspect ratios. BMW says it utilizes Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, comes with 5G connectivity, and integrated Amazon Fire TV — making it the highest resolution Fire TV currently in existence. Rear-seat occupants can even adjust their settings to dim the ambient lighting and adjust the blinds to create a more-authentic theater experience.
It’ll cost a fortune. But, considering the i7 will be even more expensive than the standard 7 Series that’s likely to eclipse $100,000 in most configurations, interested customers should easily be able to afford it.
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