BMW’s upcoming rival to the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS has been spied again in Europe.

    The new vehicle is tipped to be called the BMW i7, and will serve as an electric version of the next-generation 7 Series limousine when it launches around 2022.

    Compared to the spy photos we published a month ago, photographers believe this particular prototype is wearing more of its production components – namely the side skirts – albeit under a heavy disguise.

    Up front there’s a sharp ‘shark nose’ design with low-set headlights and a slim grille-like treatment – being an electric vehicle, the BMW kidney grille will likely be closed and serve more of an aesthetic purpose.

    It’s unclear just how different the i7 will look compared to the next 7 Series, but it’s expected to be more of a 7er derivative rather than a standalone design like BMW i models past. In fact, the best indication will come from the upcoming i4, which is meant to have very close ties with the next-generation 4 Series Gran Coupe.

    Other than what we can see in these pictures, we don’t really have any further details regarding the i7’s powertrain or technological advancements – though our last set of spy photos got close-ups of an array of cameras and sensors likely fitted for BMW’s latest semi-autonomous driving technologies.

    While we haven’t heard much about what will power the new BMW i7, we can wager what the company will be aiming for based on the figures quoted by the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS.

    The 2019 concept revealed at last year’s Frankfurt motor show employed a dual-motor electric drive system outputting a combined 350kW and 760Nm, hooked up to a massive 100kWh battery pack.

    Mercedes-Benz claimed a 0-100 time of 4.5 seconds, a zero-emissions WLTP driving range target of 700 kilometres per full charge, and the ability to charge the battery from zero to 80 per cent in just 20 minutes using a 350kW rapid charger.

    Further details will come to hand as the months roll on and development continues, so stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest.

    BMW i7 or Mercedes-Benz EQS? Let us know your pick in the comments below

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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