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BMW’s 2023 7 Series will come with battery-electric or V8 power


BMW styling is often divisive, and the new 7 Series will be no exception.
Enlarge / BMW styling is often divisive, and the new 7 Series will be no exception.

BMW

A few years ago, BMW told us about its electrification plans. Those plans involve an update to its cluster architecture (or CLAR) platform, which is now powertrain-agnostic thanks to a new floor design. And that means the next BMW 7 Series, due later this year, is available as a fully battery-electric vehicle, the $119,300 i7 xDrive60. There will also be a V8-powered 760i xDrive ($113,600) and a 740i ($93,300) that uses BMW’s inline six-cylinder engine, both mild hybrids, for those who aren’t ready to go EV yet.

People have been writing about divisive BMW styling for several decades now, and it’s fair to say the seventh-generation 7 Series will keep that conversation going. The squinty appearance is shared with the now-facelifted X7 SUV, although on that vehicle the effect actually improves the front’s proportions.

The 7 Series is now in its seventh generation and larger than ever.
Enlarge / The 7 Series is now in its seventh generation and larger than ever.

BMW

I also see more than a hint of Rolls-Royce Ghost—built at the same Dingolfing factory in Germany—in the 7 Series’ profile. That may be down to the car’s growth spurt: at 212.2 inches (5,390 mm) long, it has grown more than 5 inches (129 mm) compared to the car we tested in early 2017. The new 7 Series is also about 2 inches (50 mm) wider and taller than before, although the wheelbase has only grown by 0.2 inches (5 mm).

The extra space is noticeable on the inside, with much better headroom than the old car, and plenty of luggage space, even for the i7. (The I6 and V8 cars don’t gain any more useable space despite the lack of a traction battery—instead that space under the cabin is where they keep the fuel tank, as well as driveshaft and exhaust.)

The interior of the new 7 Series continues playing with ideas we saw in the iX, both concept car and production versions. So, the main instrument display and the infotainment screen both stand proudly on the dashboard in a curved strip. The crystal iDrive rotary dial crosses over from the iX, and the same material is used in strips across the dashboard and the doors—BMW calls it the interaction bar. The climate controls and hazard lights also live here.

The backseat is more luxurious than any BMW we’ve seen to date, especially when fitted with the “executive lounge” option. This lets the front passenger seat move forward and adds an extra leg rest for the rear seat on that side of the car for maximum comfort. Each rear door gets a small touchscreen display that controls the seat movement and massage functions as well as the rear climate settings.

It’s hard not to notice the 31.8-inch “theater screen,” which folds down from the headlining between the front and rear seats when activated. It’s an 8K touchscreen with a built-in Amazon Fire TV, so you’ll be able to stream content from most of your favorite streaming services or mobile devices. It’ll be harder for people outside the car to notice, however; as the screen folds down, sunshades rise up to cover the side and rear windows as well as the panoramic glass roof.

BMW has decided that the most powerful version of each new model it introduces should be one of the BEV versions, and so the i7 xDrive60 provides a combined 536 hp (400 kW) and 549 lb-ft (745 Nm) from a pair of electric motors (one for each axle). BMW says the i7 xDrive60 should have an EPA range of at least 300 miles (482 km), although the official figure won’t be available until closer to the car’s arrival in Q4 2022.

BMW says that the i7 will accept a DC fast charge of up to 195 kW, and in the US, buyers will get three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America stations.



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