According to BMW, it made perfect sense to finalize the testing of the i5’s winter dynamics where the story began: in Arjeplog, Sweden. The testing regime on snow and ice took around a year from initial test runs to the final stages of fine-tuning. During that time, a raft of other evaluations have been conducted in various regions and conditions. The EV has also been scrutinized on country roads, motorways and test tracks.
In February 2022, BMW also undertook a road trip from Munich to the BMW test center in Arjeplog. A prototype model camouflaged with a special wrap, plastic attachments, grilles and provisional headlights and rear lights set off on the five-day test drive from the foothills of the Bavarian Alps up to Denmark, then on to the edge of the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland on a 3,000km journey. This provided an early opportunity to analyze the motors, power electronics, high-voltage battery and integrated heating and cooling system for the cabin and battery pack in long-distance driving.
As BMW noted, the snow-covered roads and frozen lakes of northern Sweden, with their vast expanses of ice, are perfect to explore how the chassis components, steering and braking systems, and driving dynamics and stability systems all interact with one another in extreme outdoor conditions.
Furthermore, the i5 fully electric sedan has been tested at BMW Group facilities in and around Munich as well as in the vicinity of BMW Group Plant Dingolfing. On the test runs, engineers did more tuning of the car’s chassis technology and acoustic properties under a wide variety of conditions, as well as honing the drive unit’s power delivery. Part of this work was deliberately carried out during the colder months on icy and snowy roads in the Alpine foothills.
Last winter, BMW i5 prototypes – with less camouflage and near-production headlights – were regularly sent out for evaluation to verify the functionality and reliability of their powertrain and chassis control systems in extremely demanding road and weather conditions.
Final testing was carried out in Bavaria before the team returned to Sweden in February this year for more endurance analysis to fine-tune all powertrain and chassis control systems.
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