Categories: Tests

BMW i7 (2023) test: German luxury in electric!

Launched in 1977, the BMW Series7 has always acted as the flagship of the Bavarian brand. Since, seven generations have succeeded. A real luxury limousine, we have always been used to seeing 6, 8 or even 12-cylinder combustion engines (the V12 was still present in the last M760Li) fit under the hood. Exception made with the last generation (F01) which saw a small 4-cylinder 2.0 in petrol and diesel.

But for this new 7 Series (G70) in single bodywork (exit the short versions), the German manufacturer has launched a 100% electric model, the i7, in parallel with the thermal versions!

Design: a 5.39m long flagship!

Historically, the 7 Series has always served as a model for its direct descendants as well. A veritable technological showcase since its inception, many innovations inaugurated with them were then found on the more affordable vehicles in the range. With this new generation, BMW has 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 pour 1.95 meters wide and 1.55 meters high. In profile, his monolithic physics, accentuated by its metallic “Oxidgrau” shade (a slightly matte grey), sets the tone. The belt line is very high and ends at the front with a very flat hood, which falls almost at a right angle on the grille. The doors (automatic) each have integrated handles to promote aerodynamics and the flush windows are of the most beautiful effect. Finally, huge 21″ rims complete this profile. No doubt, we are in front of a luxury limousine!

If you look at it from the front, this i7 clearly assumes the new stylistic direction of the group. Like a snub to its detractors, the grille is even larger, and even surrounded by a strip of LEDs (BMW Iconic Glow) on our test model! The light signature, cut into two parts, gives a little more finesse 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.

At the front: a showcase of luxury and technology

Even if this 7 Series impresses especially at the rear, the driver’s seat is not devoid of charm, luxury or comfort. Quite the contrary!

Because once seated on specific massaging and heated seats, lined with light leather micro-ventilated coupled with a combination of wool & cashmere (optional BMW Individual Merino) exclusive, the future drivers of this luxury limousine will not be left out.

However, if the inside of the MercedesEQS, with its hyperscreen and immaculate white upholstery, had impressed with its concept car appearance, here it’s not the “wow” effect that prevails. In this i7, we are on something more rational, without being bland, quite the contrary! We find for example the same curved slab, offering two 12 and 15 inch slabs as a dashboard. On the other hand, an exclusive novelty, the BMW Interactive Bar, comes to sublimate this interior whose finishes are irreproachable. This long illuminated bar occupies the entire width of the cabin, and brings together air conditioning controls and a few very practical control buttons. It adopts an aspect with “diamond” reliefs of the most beautiful effect, just like the keys of the central console or the buttons of controls of the seats located on the storm doors.

As you will have understood, luxury invites itself on board this Series 7 and the attention to detail impresses. Finally, if you feel like it, you can also relax to music, thanks to a sound system. Bowers & Wilkins almost 2000 wattsRMS which has 39 speakersintelligibly arranged and concealed in the passenger compartment.

At the rear: probably the best passenger seats in the world!

Obviously, this limo takes on its full meaning once seated in the rear seats. Comfortably seated on seats with impeccable upholstery, beyond the obvious comfort, it is also this feeling of space that prevails on board. Whether at the level of the legs, the head, but also in width, the passengers on board this Series 7 will be able to move without any problem. Add to this space a full panoramic roof, letting in a lot of light, and this leather upholstery and light noble fabrics, the feeling of space and clarity is complete.

On the technology side, USB-C sockets are discreetly housed in the back of the front seats. Also, at the armrests of the rear door panels, a small screen is housed to allow passengers to control many functions. Seat adjustment, window blinds, air conditioning, lightingor the volume, almost everything is there! Highlight of the show, it also allows you to deploy a huge screen, the Theater Screen. He impressed us during the reveal of the car last year, this huge panoramic slab which unfolds from the ceiling is grandiose. The 31-inch screen adopts an 8K definition, and will even allow you to connect to it wirelessly or via an HDMI port. It will undoubtedly allow senior executives who are a little in a hurry to refine their presentations before arriving in a meeting…

At the wheel: absolute comfort enhanced by electrics

On the numbers side, the i7 has two electric motors, one on each axle. We therefore have a real 4-wheel drive, practical with this size.

In total, our xDrive60 electric model develops nearly 544 hp (400 kW) pour 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 is above all by sound comfort level that this electric 7 Series impresses. To do this, it is equipped with a chassis with pneumatic suspensions. Result, all the irregularities of the road are very well erased and we evolve on a real magic carpet. Carpet that still weighs its weight: 2 770 kg measured by our lab, it’s quite simply unheard of at Auto Plus!

On the other hand, the i7 fishes on the rolling precision. On n’a not much directional feeling if we adopt a more sustained rhythm. That’s good, that’s not what we’re asking of it… Note that thanks to its standard rear steering wheels, the 7 Series is very maneuverable in relation to its size. Its turning circle of 12.3 meters is identical to that of a Series 3!

In terms of consumption, our road test with 1° degree on the thermometer ended in 27 kWh average in “Efficient” mode. With its battery the 101 kW, BMW announces approximately 625 km of autonomy in the WLTP cycle. According to our lab measurements, we were able to reach 423 km of real autonomy with winter temperatures. With milder conditions, the real 500 km are therefore easily possible!

A final word also on driving aids. This i7 has practically what is best on the market today. We find level 2 autonomous driving et she is even ready for level 3 but it is not yet available in France.

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Verdict: the electric suits him so well!

In terms of prices, our i7 xDrive60 version starts from 151 800 €. In thermals it starts from 121 000 €.

Facing the Mercedes EQS its closest current rival displayed 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 on this version of the EQS.

In the end, BMW renews its standard bearer brilliantly. The electric lends itself to perfection with this veritable rolling flagship packed with technology. We just regret these still elitist prices, but luxury has a price!

Data sheet of the trial version:

  • Version :  i7 xDrive60
  • Finish: i7
  • Price: €151,800 (without options)
  • Bonus : 0
  • Motor type: 2 permanent magnet synchronous electric motors
  • CV : 10
  • Power: 544 hp
  • Couple : 745 Nm
  • Energy: Electricity
  • Transmission: Integral
  • Gearbox: 1 gear
  • Battery: 101.7kWh
  • WLTP autonomy: 625 km
  • Builder Acceleration: 4.7s
  • Length: 5.39m
  • Width: 1.95m
  • Height: 1.55m
  • Poids : 2 770 kg

Options of the model tested (+ €48,894):

  • Aero rims. 21″ BMW Individual styling 910 | Fine Dark Gray. bril. 3D mixed tires: 3 800 €
  • Automatic opening and closing doors: 1 600 €
  • Removal of exterior design elements: 0 €
  • ‘BMW Iconic Glow’ crystal headlamps: 2 200 €
  • Sky Lounge panoramic glass roof: 1 000 €
  • ‘CraftedClarity’ crystal applications for interior features: 900 €
  • Right rear Executive Lounge seat: 2 300 €
  • Travel & Comfort multifunctional travel system: 450 €
  • Cabin camera: €200
  • Système Hi-Fi Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound : 5 900 €
  • Rear media station with BMW Theater Screen and Amazon Fire TV: 4 900 €
  • Repair Inclusive – 3 ans/200.000 km : 795 €
  • BMW Individual Gran Lusso interior with exclusive elements (Multifunction seats for driver and front passenger, XEE BMW Individual interior trim in noble wood Ash Flowing Grey, open pore: 13 500 €
  • Pack Innovation (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 (ventilated front seats, massaging front seats): 2 200 €

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