It is generally 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 trendy, series-built sedan.
At the launch of its electric range, BMW probably already had the idea of offering a luxurious large sedan or limousine. The name i7 was registered by the German manufacturer in 2012. Internal leaks had made it possible to imagine the vessel from the beginning of 2019. At the time, there was a range close to 600 km and an engine that could develop an output of 640 horsepower or 470 kW.
In terms of radius of action, BMW today confirms: between 590 and 625 km according to the WLTP standard and depending on the options on board. But is this possible in real use with a car measuring 5.39 times 1.95 m in a height of 1.54 m, weighing about 2.7 tons with its driver, and equipped with a battery with a useful energy capacity of 101.7 kWh ?
Question power, are we down compared to the numbers revealed in 2019? Apparently yes, if we stop at the driveline first available on the BMW i7. The two wound synchronous motors are now credited with a total of 400 kW (544 hp), for a nice maximum torque of 745 Nm. Enough to bring down 0-100 km / h in 4.7 seconds. But the upcoming M70 version will push the numbers up by 485 kW (660 hp).
7th generation 7-series
The i7, which we present to you in a preview, integrates the 7th generation of the 7 Series, which was to be presented at the Beijing Motor Show in April 2022. It has an electric 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 740d powered by a 6-cylinder diesel unit.
The nose of this four-wheel-drive electric sedan is in line with the new design that was inaugurated with the X7 SUV with, on both sides of the two-part grid, laser-type lighting and a series of Swarovski diamonds of which we find reminders inside (+ 900 euros), on the dashboard, but also at the level of driving and driving mode selectors.
The i7 will be more eye-catching with a two-tone color billed € 12,500 as an option, or boosted in the M Sport finish. For 4,300 euros more, the latter will be particularly characterized by its two-tone 20-inch aerodynamic rims fitted with mixed tires.
With a BMW i7 that will often serve as a limousine for the leaders of important companies, then should we expect a large trunk? No, of course. If necessary, it will be possible to tow a trailer up to 750 kg. The volume released behind the electric boot lid is here only 500 liters. With a ski hatch, but without the possibility of tilting it, the backrest on the seats in the back will not help to get better.
To slip on the latter, the model 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 blade of grass. Access on board is quite wide. The knees will not touch the back of the front seats. The seats are heated, ventilated, massaging and electric on the 4 main seats (Relaxation front and Executive rear package: 2,100 + 4,650 euros).
Due to a harder fold there, and a relatively large service tunnel, it will be better to reserve the middle one for troubleshooting use. The large central armrest with large storage, USB-C connector and induction charger would then be camouflaged.
A large panoramic glass roof that can not be opened (+ 1,000 euros) covers the BMW i7. On the right armrest, a small screen to play with various settings and modes. Pressing Relax darkens the rear windows, including the roof and rear window.
It is possible to stretch your legs completely while sitting to the right (+ 2,300 euros). The front seat is designed for this, with the option to move it further forward than usual.
In this position you may want to take advantage of the multimedia station (+ 4,900 euros). She is represented by very large 32.9 inch screen that unfolds from the roof, and will be enhanced by the acoustic staging of the Hi-Fi Surround Sound system (+5,900 euros). With all this, it will be possible to enjoy Youtube videos, Netflix, Fire TV, etc. “It’s unique in car manufacturing, for now”emphasizes Maxime Fontanier.
On the front of the i7, the driver and his neighbor will find an atmosphere already familiar with the BMW iX. It is both luxurious and refined. At the top of the dashboard, leather with stitching provides space for wood cladding and then for a diamond-style light strip that changes color depending on the driving condition.
This endowment benefits from the BMW Individual interior (+4,300 euros), which provides Merino leather upholstery, and the anthracite gray Alcantara ceiling (+ 1,250 euros). If all that was not luxurious enough for you, and / or you prefer carbon fiber over wood, you could opt for the £ 13,500 Gran Lusso interior.
The multimedia system in the center of the dashboard is particularly fluid. It is extended to the left of the digital display, which shows the driving information in a classic way, behind the wheel. “It’s very impressive in terms of build quality, and it’s the best there is today.”, appreciates our tests. Luxury is so present on board that we almost forget the devices that bring level 2 autonomous driving to the machine.
If we stop at pprice of the basic model proposed at 139,900 eurosprovided you uncheck the possibilities that are automatically integrated with the sublime, sculptural and masterful atmospheres found on BMW’s website, the i7 would seem almost inexpensive given the exceptional level of comfort it is able to offer . .
But with the options we have identified, without mentioning them all, the bill exceeds 180,000 euros. Without them, this car appears 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 was to land in French dealers by the end of this year 2022.