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BMW's electric car extravaganza! Premium brand takes aim at Tesla with Model S-rivalling i7 and Model Y-baiting iX1

The i7 will be launched in conjunction with the next-generation 7 Series.

BMW is gearing up to add more electric vehicles to its line-up, with confirmation of an all-electric version of the next-generation X1 small SUV.

Announced as part of BMW Group’s annual conference, the German giant also laid bare more details of its upcoming electric passenger car flagship, the i7 sedan.

BMW was an early adopter of electric vehicle technology with its pioneering i3 hatch and i8 hybrid sportscar, adding plug-in hybrid versions of popular models before diving head first into EVs.

Unlike Mercedes-Benz which is offering separate EV models under its EQ banner, BMW’s latest platforms can accommodate internal combustion, hybrid and fully electric powertrains, allowing the company to develop electric versions of its key models.

BMW’s next-generation 7 Series range due later this year will be headed by the electric version as the flagship variant and according to BMW, all will be revealed around April 20.

BMW has been teasing the i7 for a few months and it provided more teasers this week, revealing a bold kidney grille as seen on the iX electric SUV, as well as the XM concept from last year.

The grille appears to have an illuminated surround and you can see slimline LED lights that are expected to be the daytime running lights as the main cluster will be housed further down.

BMW said the i7 will be the most powerful version of the next 7 Series, and confirmed a driving range between 580-610km and energy consumption of 19.7–18.9kWh/100 km, according to WLTP.

The BMW i7 during cold-weather testing. The BMW i7 during cold-weather testing.

Tech will be the name of the game in the cabin, with the curved multimedia and instrument screen as seen in the BMW iX, as well as the Sky Lounge sunroof that blocks out UV rays and heat at the touch of a button.

But the big party tricks are reserved for rear-seat passengers. The second row will feature a 31-inch ‘Theatre Screen’ that pops out of the roof liner, offering 8k resolution.

The clear rivals for the i7 will be the Tesla Model S and Mercedes-Benz EQS, as well as the Lucid Air.

While the i7 will fill BMW’s flagship role, at the other end of its line-up will be an electric version of its entry SUV, the next-generation X1.

BMW has not revealed any details as yet, but the new X1 will debut before the end of the year.

The iX1 will face competition from models that are already in-market, including the Volvo XC40 Recharge, Lexus UX300e, Mercedes-Benz EQA, and the imminent Tesla Model Y.

As part of the annual meeting, BMW also announced it plans to to more than double EV sales to more than 200,000 in 2022 before hitting two million EV sales by 2025.