The series development of the BMW i7 is entering its final phase with a test programme under extreme road and weather conditions. The electric motors, all-wheel drive and high-voltage battery have to prove their performance and reliability under maximum load – currently testing in the world’s hot regions.
BMW says that this hot-region testing takes place on test tracks and public roads all over the world. The development engineers “primarily verify the performance and reliability of the electric motors, the all-wheel-drive and the high-voltage battery under maximum stress due to high temperatures, unpaved roads, dust generation and large differences in altitude”.
This also involves mountain driving with trailers, for example. Another extreme scenario for energy management and power electronics: a downhill drive with a fully charged drive battery that can no longer absorb recuperation energy.
The endurance tests in the heat are not only intended to test the powertrain components, as fundamental faults so close to the presentation would be an enormous challenge but above all, to safeguard them. The components of the fifth generation of e-drives at BMW have already undergone numerous test drives, they are already used in the iX3, iX and o4. Nevertheless, for each vehicle model it must be tested anew whether cooling and durability are also given with the respective arrangement of the components – hence the tests at extremely high outside temperatures, permanent sunlight and dryness.
“Within a firmly defined test programme for the prototypes, loads are simulated that correspond to the challenges faced by a production vehicle during a complete product life cycle,” BMW writes. “Supported by sensitive measurement technology on board, experienced test engineers register every reaction of the electric motors, the high-voltage battery, the drive control and the integrated cooling system as well as the charging technology and energy management to weather and road-related influences.”
In addition to the drive, other components such as the on-board electronics or the air-conditioning system are also tested during hot-landing trials. In addition, the developers can once again check the behaviour of the materials used in the interior.
A few weeks ago, BMW had already published pictures and impressions of the winter testing of the i7 in Arjeplog, Sweden. In addition to the cold behaviour of the drive components, work was also carried out there on the tuning of the drive and suspension systems: According to BMW, on the large patches of ice and snow-covered roads with low grip, the development engineers can “fine-tune the control systems particularly sensitively”.
According to BMW, the purely electric i7 will be presented in the course of 2022 together with other model variants of the new BMW 7 Series.
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