It is usually the driver who enjoys the best seat in an electric car. Not in the BMW i7 xDrive60, where rear seat passengers will receive unprecedented comfort for a modern, series-built sedan.
At the launch of its electric range, BMW probably already had the idea of offering a luxury sedan or large limousine. The name i7 was registered by the German manufacturer in 2012. Internal leaks made it possible to imagine the vessel since the beginning of 2019. It was then a range of close to 600 km and an engine capable of developing a power of 640 horsepower, or 470 kW
Regarding the radius of action, BMW confirms today: between 590 and 625 km according to the WLTP standard and depending on options on board. However, this is feasible in real use with a car measuring 5.39 by 1.95 m for a height of 1.54 m, weighing around 2.7 tons with its driver and equipped with a battery with a useful energy capacity of 101.7 kWh ?
Power of the question, are we down in relation to the numbers released in 2019? Apparently so, if we stop at the powertrain available first on the BMW i7. The two wound-rotor synchronous motors are now credited with a total of 400 kW (544 hp), for a pleasant maximum torque of 745 Nm. Enough to reduce 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds. But the next version of the M70 will bump up the numbers with 485 kW (660 hp).
Series 7 Generation 7
The i7 that we present in preview is part of the 7th generation of the 7 Series that was supposed to be presented at the Beijing Motor Show in April 2022. It features an electrical architecture similar to the BMW iX model already in circulation, as well as its adaptive air suspension.. The family will be completed with a plug-in hybrid version and the 740d powered by a 6-cylinder diesel unit.
The nose of this all-wheel drive electric sedan conforms to the new design that debuted with the X7 SUV with, on either side of the two-part grille, laser-like lighting and a row of Swarovski diamonds of which we will find reminders inside (+ 900 euros), on the dashboard, but also at the level of the driving and driving mode selectors.
The i7 will be more noticeable with a two-tone color billed 12,500 euros as an option, or reinforced in the M Sport finish. For a further €4,300, the latter will be distinguished in particular by its two-tone aerodynamic 20-inch rims mounted on mixed tyres.
With a BMW i7 that will often serve as a limousine for the leaders of important companies, should we expect a large trunk? Of course not. If necessary, it will be possible to tow a trailer of up to 750 kg. The volume released behind the power trunk lid is just 500 liters here. With a ski hatch, but without the possibility of tilting it, the backrest of the rear seats will not help to improve.
To slip into the latter, the model that was made available to us was equipped with automatic opening and closing of the doors (+ 1,600 euros). Detectors prevent you from bumping into an obstacle, even a tuft of grass. Access on board is quite wide. Knees will not touch the back of the front seats. Seats are heated, ventilated, massager and electric on the 4 main seats (Rear Relaxer Packages and Executive Rear: 2,100 + 4,650 euros).
Due to a more difficult folder and relatively large service tunnel, it is best to reserve the middle one for use in troubleshooting. The large central armrest with large storage, USB-C sockets and induction charger would be camouflaged.
A large panoramic glass roof with no opening (+ 1,000 euros) covers the BMW i7. On the right armrest, a small screen to play with different settings and modes. When you press Relax, the rear windows, including the roof and rear window, will be darkened.
It is possible to fully extend the legs while sitting on the right (+ 2,300 euros). The front seat was designed for this, with the possibility of moving it further forward than usual.
In this position, you can take advantage of the multimedia station (+ 4,900 euros). She is represented by Very large 32.9-inch screen that unfolds from the ceiling, and will be reinforced by the acoustic staging of the Hi-Fi Surround Sound system (+5,900 euros). With all this, it will be possible to enjoy videos from Youtube, Netflix, Fire TV, etc. “It’s unique in automotive production for now”emphasizes Maxime Fontanier.
In front of the i7, the driver and his neighbor will find a familiar atmosphere with the BMW iX. It’s luxurious and refined. At the top of the dashboard, stitched leather gives way to wood trim and then a diamond-style light strip that changes color depending on driving mode.
This kit benefits from the BMW Individual interior (+ €4,300) which is upholstered in Merino leather, and the anthracite gray Alcantara roof (+ €1,250). If all that isn’t luxurious enough for you and/or you prefer carbon fiber over wood, you can opt for the £13,500 Gran Lusso interior.
The multimedia system in the middle of the dashboard is particularly fluid. It is extended to the left by the digital display that shows driving information in the classic way, behind the steering wheel. “It’s very impressive in terms of build quality and is the best to date”, appreciate our tester. Luxury is so present on board that we’ve almost forgotten about the devices that bring Level 2 autonomous driving to the machine.
If we stop at pprice of the proposed basic model at 139,900 eurosas long as you deselect the options that automatically integrate with Sublime, Sculptural and Masterful atmospheres found on BMW’s website, the i7 seems almost cheap in view of the exceptional level of comfort it’s capable of offering. .
But with the options that we have identified, not to mention all of them, the bill exceeds 180,000 euros. Without them, this car looks more classic.
It’s not really the Tesla Model S that the Bavarian brand is looking for with its limousine, but the Mercedes EQS. The BMW i7 is due to land at French dealerships later this year 2022.