BMW is currently hard at work polishing what will be its most important luxury car, the i7 sedan. When it debuts, the BMW i7 will have to contend with a murderous line-up of electric luxury sedans, such as the Mercedes-Benz EQS, Lucid Air and Tesla Model S. That’s why interior refinement is so important and why BMW s ensures that its i7 has acoustic levels on par with its competitors.
Electric cars require extreme levels of interior acoustic refinement, as their absence of powertrain noise allows other road noise to stand out. That’s why automakers go to such lengths to rid their electric vehicles of wind, tires and other road noise. BMW is currently going to such extremes for the i7 at the new Research and Innovation Center (FIZ) in Munich.
Some of the measures BMW has taken to ensure that the least amount of wind and road noise enters the i7’s cabin are using clean body surfaces, flush door handles, exterior mirrors optimized on the aerodynamic plan and an almost completely closed underbody. Acoustic isolators have also been added to the pillars, seats and even the headliner of the BMW i7, all to reduce exterior noise from inside.
Interestingly, BMW’s FIZ R&D center can simulate many extreme weather conditions around the world. It can produce extremely hot and cold environments, as well as extreme winds, to ensure the acoustic standards of the i7 in all. There’s even a lab at the FIZ Center that hits the i7 with electromagnetic fields, to ensure its electrical systems continue to function properly during such an event.
In addition, BMW must ensure that the sounds that reach the cabin are good. For example, to give the electric powertrain a bit of thrill and excitement, without sounding obnoxious, BMW teamed up with Hans Zimmer to create its IconicSounds Electric. We’ve heard what it looks like in cars like the BMW iX and i4 before and it will be interesting to hear what it looks like in the BMW i7.
The BMW i7 will be one of the most important cars in the brand’s history. It will simultaneously set the standard for BMW’s luxury and electric vehicles, as it will be the flagship of both. So it’s heartening to see BMW go to such lengths to ensure its quality.