All of the sounds were composed by a two-time Oscar winner.
At the recent 2022 New York Motor Show, we got up close and personal with the all-new BMW 7 Series. Opinions on the design are split right down the middle, but it matters little to us. Thanks to the attention to detail, the car will be a hit based on the interior alone.
The best example of this is the interior sounds of the all-new, fully-electric i7. Now, the EV running gear is already silent, and if you couple that with an extremely well-insulated cabin, you have a sensory deprivation tank. That kind of silence could be uncomfortable for some, which meant that BMW needed some new interior and driving sounds.
Instead of simply doing it in-house, BMW approached Hans Zimmer - a two-time Oscar winner in the Best Original Score category. His most recent win was for the 2022 epic, Dune.
BMW teamed up with Hans Zimmer before. He created the BMW i4 and iX interior sounds and was responsible for the sounds in the new i7 as well. It's by far one of the most remarkable features of the new i7, of which there are many.
We tried our best to listen to these sounds during the official press unveiling in New York, but the crowd was just too big. And there are many sounds to explore, thanks to the various driving modes. Expressive Mode produces an unconventional soundtrack inside the car, while Relax Mode shifts to well-being, harmony, and relaxation, accompanied by graphics on the BMW Curved Display inspired by natural landscapes. Even the massaging seats activate a subtle and harmonious soundtrack when activated. The only driving more not scored by Zimmer is Efficient Mode, and that's likely because the car deactivates every luxury you don't need.
Zimmer also created a soundtrack to accompany the rear seats as they set themselves up for the full BMW Theater Screen experience.
"We want to offer customers a unique driving and travel experience in the BMW i7. In the area of user experience, we are breaking new ground to achieve this, which also includes the drive sound," explains Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design. "Sound in particular plays a central role in the emotional connection between the driver and his vehicle. Innovations such as BMW IconicSounds Electric make the BMW i7 a pioneer for a new, holistic driving experience."
BMW and Hans Zimmer's working relationship will likely continue. At the i7 unveiling, BMW also confirmed the 2023 arrival of the Rolls Royce Spectre and Mini Countryman EV. Both will probably have the same man behind the music.
BMW also now has the largest over-the-air update fleet globally, so these soundtracks will likely be updated to keep the interiors of the i7 and the Spectre as unique as possible.