German electric luxury!
Launched in 1977, the BMW 7 Series has always served as the flagship of the Bavarian brand. ever since, seven generations was successful. A true luxury limousine, we are always used to seeing 6, 8 or even 12-cylinder combustion engines (the V12 is still present in the latter M760Li) fit under the hood. Exclusion made in the last generation (F01) that saw a small 4-cylinder 2.0 in gasoline and diesel.
But for this new 7 Series (G70) in single bodywork (out of the short versions), the German manufacturer launched a 100% electric model, the i7, parallel to the thermal versions!
Design: a 5.39m long flagship!
Historically, the 7 Series has always served as a model for its direct descendants. A true technological showcase since its inception, many of the innovations inaugurated in them have found their way into the more affordable vehicles in the range. In this new generation, BMW made the completely logical choice to make its luxury limousine electric.
In terms of design, the i7 already impresses with its size: 5.39 meters long in 1.95 meters wide and 1.55 meters high. In profile, his monolithic physics, emphasized by its metallic “Oxidgrau” shade (slightly matte grey), setting the tone. The belt line is very high and ends at the front with a very flat hood, which falls almost at right angles to the grille. The doors (automatic) each have integrated handles to promote aerodynamics and the flush windows are the best effect. Finally, large 21″ rims complete this profile. No doubt, we are in front of a luxury limousine!
If you look at it from the front, the i7 clearly assumes the group’s new styling direction. As a snub to its detractors, the grille is even bigger, and surrounded by a strip of LEDs (BMW Iconic Glow) in our test model! The light signature, cut in two parts, gives a little more sophistication to this massive front face. At the rear, the lights are tapered and a small i7 badge completes the design. Note that only the “i” and “i7” badges on the solid grille as well as the blue border on the logo distinguish this electric 7 Series from its thermal counterparts.
In front: a showcase of luxury and technology
Although this 7 Series impresses especially from the rear, the driver’s seat does not lose its beauty, luxury or comfort. Quite the opposite!
Because once seated in the specific massage and heated seats, there is already a line light leather micro-ventilated along with a combination of wool and cashmere (BMW option Individual Merino) exclusive, the future drivers of this luxury limousine will not be left behind.
However, if the inside of MercedesEQS, with its hyperscreen and clean white upholstery, impressed with the look of this concept car, here, it’s not the “wow” effect that dominates. With this i7, we are in something more reasonable, without being cheap, on the contrary! We see for example the same curved slab, which offers two 12 and 15 inch slabs as a dashboard. On the other hand, an exclusive novelty, the BMW Interactive Bar, when it comes to this sublimate interior whose finishes are impeccable. This long illuminated bar covers the entire width of the cabin, and combines the air conditioning controls and some very practical control buttons. It uses an aspect with “diamond” reliefs with the best effect, such as the keys of the central console or the buttons of the seat controls located on the storm doors.
As you can already understand, luxury invites itself into this 7 Series and the attention to detail is impressive. Finally, if you want, you can also relax with music, thanks to the sound system. Bowers and Wilkins almost 2000 watts RMS with 39 speakersclearly arranged and hidden in the passenger compartment.
In the back: probably the best passenger seats in the world!
Obviously, this limo takes on its full meaning once seated in the rear seats. Sitting comfortably in seats with impeccable upholstery, beyond the obvious comfort, it is also the feeling of space that prevails on board. Even at the level of the legs, the head, but also in width, the passengers riding in this 7 Series will be able to move without any problem. Add to this space a full panoramic roof, which lets in a lot of light, and the leather upholstery and light noble fabrics, the feeling of space and clarity is complete.
On the technology side, USB-C sockets are hidden behind the front seats. Also, on the armrests of the rear door panels, there is a small screen to allow passengers to control many functions. Seat adjustment, window blinds, air conditioning, lightingor the amount, almost everyone is there! Highlight of the show, it also allows you to deploy a large screen, the Theater Screen. He wowed us at last year’s car show, this massive panoramic slab coming out of the ceiling was grand. The 31-inch screen uses an 8K definition, and will allow you to connect to it wirelessly or through an HDMI port. This will no doubt allow senior executives who are in a bit of a hurry to refine their presentations before arriving at a meeting…
At the wheel: absolute comfort enhanced by electrics
On the numbers side, the i7 has two electric motors, one on each axle. Therefore, we have a real 4-wheel drive, practical in this size.
In total, our xDrive60 electric model generates nearly 544 hp (400kW) in 745 Nm of torque. The maximum speed is limited to 240 km/h and the 0 to 100 km/h is shot in 4.7 seconds.
On the road, it’s mainly by sound comfort level who love this electric 7 Series. To do this, it is equipped with a chassis with pneumatic suspensions. As a result, all road irregularities are very well erased and we transform into a real magic carpet. Carpet that still weighs its weight: 2770kg measured by our lab, it’s pretty much unheard of in Auto Plus!
On the other hand, the i7 fishes on rolling precision. We haven’t yet it feels less directional if we adopt a more sustainable rhythm. That’s fine, that’s not what we’re asking for here… Note that thanks to its standard rear steering wheels, the 7 Series is very easy to maneuver for its size. Its turning circle of 12.3 meters is the same as that of a Series 3!
In terms of consumption, our road test with 1° degree on the thermometer ended on the 27th kWh average in “Efficient” mode. Including those 101 kW battery, BMW announced around 625 km of autonomy in the WLTP cycle. According to our lab measurements, we reached 423 km of true autonomy with winter temperatures. In milder conditions, a real 500 km is therefore easily possible!
Also a final word on driving aids. This i7 is pretty much the best in the market today. We found it level 2 autonomous driving and he is also ready for level 3 but it is not yet available in France.
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Verdict: electric suits him!
In terms of prices, our i7 xDrive60 version starts at €151,800. In thermals it starts with €121,000.
Faced with the Mercedes EQS is its closest current rival presented at €135,850, the latter still benefits from 100km of additional real autonomy. On the other hand, the i7 has 544 hp against 333 hp in this EQS version.
In the end, BMW reinvented its standard bearer brilliantly. Electric lends itself to perfection in this true rolling flagship packed with technology. We’re sorry for these elitist prices, but luxury comes at a price!
Data sheet of the trial version:
- Version: i7 xDrive60
- Finish: i7
- Price: €151,800 (no options)
- Bonuses: 0
- Motor type: 2 permanent magnet synchronous electric motors
- CV: 10
- Power: 544 hp
- Torque: 745Nm
- Energy: Electricity
- Delivery: Integral
- Gearbox: 1 gear
- Battery: 101.7kWh
- WLTP range: 625 km
- Builder Acceleration: 4.7s
- Length: 5.39m
- Width: 1.95m
- Height: 1.55m
- Weight: 2,770 kg
Options of the model tested (+ €48,894):
- Aero rims. 21″ BMW Individual styling 910 | Dark Grey. glasses 3D mixed tires: €3,800
- Automatic opening and closing of doors: €1,600
- Removal of external design elements: 0 €
- ‘BMW Iconic Glow’ crystal headlamps: €2,200
- Sky Lounge panoramic glass roof: €1,000
- ‘CraftedClarity’ crystal application for interior features: 900 €
- Right in the back seat of the Executive Lounge: €2,300
- Travel & Comfort multifunctional travel system: 450 €
- Cabin camera: €200
- Bowers and Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound Hi-Fi System: €5,900
- Rear media station with BMW Theater Screen and Amazon Fire TV: €4,900
- Repair Inclusive – 3 years/200,000 km: 795 €
- BMW Individual Gran Lusso interior with exclusive elements (Multifunction seats for driver and front passenger, XEE BMW Individual trim in noble wood Ash Flowing Grey, open pore: €13,500
- Innovation Package (Drive Assist Pro, Park Assist Pro): €2,450
- Rear Executive Pack (Ventilated rear seats, Multifunction rear seats, Executive Lounge rear center console, Massaging rear seats): €4,650
- Front Relaxation Pack (comfortable front seats, front seat massage): €2,200