Photographers have snapped what they believe to be the electric version of the next-generation BMW 7 Series, potentially named the i7, in Europe this week.

    The heavily camouflaged prototype you see here is obviously a full-size sedan, and we can make out some key BMW design cues like the light units and double kidney grille. There’s also stickers that say ‘electric test vehicle’.

    What’s not so clear is whether this electric vehicle will be a derivative of the 7 Series, or simply be called i7.

    It’s well known arch rival Mercedes-Benz is preparing a slinky EQS electric vehicle which will essentially be the S-Class of EVs, and it appears BMW is looking to get in on the action with it’s ‘i’ electrified sub-brand.

    Markets like China demand high-end vehicles but low emissions, which is why you’re seeing all the luxury marques scrambling to introduce a slew of new PHEV and EV models, as there’s huge demand for these in the Middle Kingdom.

    Using the recently-revealed iX3 as a guide, it’s not wild to guess this new EV will be based on an existing BMW model, as opposed to a standalone vehicle like the soon-to-be-retired i3 and i8. The upcoming i4 is expected to follow a similar path by sharing much with the latest 4 Series.

    Photographers also noticed an array of cameras and sensors scattered around the body (pictured above), leading us to believe this new vehicle could introduce a range of new autonomous driving systems for the BMW brand.

    Other notable features include the large alloy wheels wrapped in 245/50 R19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV tyres, suggesting this prototype is carrying a decent amount of heft.

    Further details like outputs and electric range are scarce right now, but we’d expect rumours to start swirling in the coming months.

    We can think of some benchmark figures, however, if we use the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS as a guide.

    The star-badged concept features dual-motor electric drive offering system outputs of 350kW and 760Nm, hooked up to a 100kWh battery.

    Mercedes-Benz claims the Vision EQS can accelerate from 0-100 in 4.5 seconds, while being capable of covering 700km between charges.

    We’ll keep an eye out for more spy photos and industry insider reports, but in the meantime stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest.

    Let us know what you think BMW is working on in the comments!

    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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