BMW is currently hard at work fine tuning what is going to be its most important luxury car, the i7 sedan. When it debuts, the BMW i7 is going to need to take on a murderer’s row of electric luxury sedans, such as the Mercedes-Benz EQS, the Lucid Air, and the Tesla Model S. Which is why interior refinement is so important and why BMW is making sure its i7 has acoustic levels up to par with its competition.
Electric cars need extreme levels of interior acoustic refinement, as their lack of powertrain noise allows other road noises to stand out. Which is why automakers go to such extreme lengths to rid their electric vehicles of wind, tire, and other road noises. BMW is currently going to such extremes for the i7 at the new Research and Innovation Centre (FIZ) in Munich.
Some of the measures BMW has taken to ensure the absolute least amount of wind and road noise enter the cabin of the i7 are using clear-cut body surfaces, flush door handles, aerodynamically-optimized exterior mirrors, and an almost completely closed underbody. Sound insulators were also added to the pillars, seats, and even the headliner of the BMW i7, all to reduce exterior noise from getting inside.
Interestingly, BMW’s FIZ R&D center can simulate many of the extreme climate conditions from around the world. It can produce extreme hot and cold environments, as well as extreme wind, to ensure the i7’s acoustic standards throughout them all. There’s even a lab at the FIZ center which hits the i7 with electromagnetic fields, to make sure its electric systems continue to work properly during such an event.
Additionally, BMW has to make sure the sounds that do make it into the cabin are good ones. For instance, to give the electric powertrain a bit of emotion and excitement, without sounding obnoxious, BMW partnered with Hans Zimmer to create its IconicSounds Electric. We’ve already heard what that sounds like in cars like the BMW iX and i4 and it will be interesting to hear what it’s like in the BMW i7.
The BMW i7 is going to 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 for both. So it’s encouraging to see BMW go to such lengths to ensure its quality.