The car was subjected to some particularly extreme scenarios.
BMW is making sure that the upcoming i7, the electric version of the 7 Series sedan, is as dependable as it will be quick and luxurious. The BMW i7 has been undergoing a grueling testing schedule to ensure that all major components hold up in the most demanding conditions. A few weeks ago, the i7 was spotted being tested in the ice just miles away from the Arctic Circle. Now, the i7 has undergone hot-region testing as engineers assess the reliability of not only the electric motors, but also the high-voltage battery and all-wheel-drive system. The i7 was subjected to unpaved roads, dust, dramatic differences in altitude, and traversed both mountains and deserts.
"The testing program, which covers tens of thousands of kilometers, includes long-distance and high-speed driving as well as stop-and-go traffic in the scorching heat. In addition, test sections with particularly large differences in altitude were selected at the hot-region test sites," said BMW.
As electric vehicles can be more sensitive to dramatically fluctuating temperatures, it makes sense that BMW is subjecting the i7 to these conditions. For instance, Ford also took the Mustang Mach-E for final testing in the snow before it went into production.
One of the i7's toughest and most extreme challenges was being driven downhill in a fully charged state, which means the car technically can't absorb any recuperation energy. This is an example of a situation the production model will be unlikely to find itself in, but the whole point of torture testing is to ensure that the car can still function beyond the everyday tolerances it was designed for. In another test, the i7 was driven through the mountains in trailer mode.
Although BMW repeatedly refers to the i7 as the "world's only purely electrically powered luxury sedan," it will need to go up against the accomplished Mercedes-Benz EQS when it arrives. The i7 will be revealed sometime next year and it's expected to produce up to 650 horsepower in M60 guise. Not merely fast and powerful, the BMW will also be battle-hardened when its tough testing regimen concludes.