There’s no such thing as surprises anymore.
Between revealing teasers, spy photos and leaks, we’d already gotten a good idea of what the 2023 BMW i7 and 7 Series would look like before its April 20 reveal.
Now, just hours before its official unveiling, more leaked photographs of the car have been published on Autospy.
The covers officially come off at 12pm GMT, or 10pm AEST.
Previous photos have shown the i7, an electric version of the 7 Series, appears to avoid electric cliches like blue trim and blank grille areas and instead wears a stately double-kidney waterfall grille with prominent vertical chrome bars.
These photos show the i7, or potentially its combustion-powered 7 Series counterpart, in what appears to be Pure Excellence and M Sport guises.
They differ significantly in front-end appearance, though they both feature large double kidneys plus new split-level lighting as seen on the facelifted X7.
The M Sport variant features thick black trim elements or cutouts branching down from the second tier of lighting, while the double kidneys get unusual cutouts and there’s a black-finish lower air dam.
The Pure Excellence, in contrast, has a more conventional grille, plus a horizontal chrome bar across the lower air dam. Cutouts on either side of the bumper are subtle and vertically-oriented.
No photos of the rear have been published as part of this latest leak, but a single interior image has been shown.
It’s likely of the M Sport variant judging by the carbon-fibre trim, and the featured example includes a black dashboard with a burgundy centre console, seats and door trim, while the unique crystal ornamentation is presented with bold red and blue backlighting.
As BMW is doing with almost its entire range, the flagship sedan line gets a wraparound assembly ahead of the driver containing both the digital instrument cluster and the infotainment system.
BMW has previously revealed the new, enormous 31-inch BMW Theatre Screen rear display, with an 8K resolution and an ultra-wide aspect ratio of 32:9.
Just yesterday, a banner image revealing the i7’s front end, mistakenly published on BMW’s website, was shared by Instagram user Wilco Blok.
Previous teasers have revealed the split-level lighting, which includes ‘crystal glass’ for the top tier, and the bold grille that’s available with an illuminated perimeter.
A further image was also leaked of the i7’s rear. It shows a boot lid with a flat surface and a prominent crease running between slim tail lights. There’s no full-width light bar.
Naturally, there are no exhaust outlets, leaving a fairly unadorned rear bumper.
Preliminary electric range figures for the i7 are 590km-625km on the WLTP cycle in xDrive60 guise.
This model was previously confirmed by BMW USA to have 521km of range on the even stricter US EPA cycle.
It’s unclear whether this will be the top-spec i7, though ‘60’ tends to indicate something powerful in BMW land. The electric iX SUV, for reference, tops out with an M60 variant, while the outgoing 7 Series flagship is the V12-powered M760Li.
All models of the i7 all-electric sedan will be available with a dual-motor all-wheel drive system.
BMW has yet to confirm powertrain outputs for the i7. The iX M60 has 455kW of power and 1100Nm of torque in its most powerful drive mode, while even the xDrive50 one rung down has 385kW and 765Nm.
For reference, the twin-turbo V12 in the outgoing M760Li flagship puts out 448kW and 850Nm.
A V12 won’t be offered in the redesigned 7 Series range, though we expect a range of petrol and diesel engines plus plug-in hybrids.
Depending on the market, the current 7 Series is offered with a choice of turbocharged inline-four and inline-six petrol and diesel engines, along with twin-turbo V8s and a turbocharged inline-six plug-in hybrid.
While the Mercedes-Benz EQS has a completely unique body and architecture from the similarly-sized S-Class, the all-electric i7 is much more closely related to the redesigned combustion-powered 7 Series with a shared body.
BMW has confirmed the 7 Series will have an available SAE Level 3 autonomous driving feature.
“Level 3 you will see from us in 7 Series next year,” said BMW director of development Frank Weber in an interview with Forbes Wheels in November 2021.
“It’s a function you can buy. It will be ready to go at the launch of the 7 Series.”
According to Weber, this SAE Level 3 autonomous driving system is being developed with Intel’s self-driving subsidiary, Mobileye.
It’s also set to eventually become available on future BMW 5 Series, X5 and X7 models, as well as the all-electric iX as an optional upgrade from its current SAE Level 2 system.
MORE: Everything BMW 7 Series