Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins, www.AutomotiveRhythms.com
That’s right; the BMW 7 Series is electrified for 2023 while maintaining the same body style and interior cabin as the two ICE (internal combustion engine) models. I had a chance to test drive and thoroughly evaluate the 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 at the BMW Test Fest program recently held at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs with the conclusion that the luxury sedan’s capabilities are superior within its class. The German EV is technologically laden, ultra-intelligent, and savvy on the road while zeroing in on owners’ attitudes, necessities, and feelings.
BMW i7 Evolution
BMW’s luxury flagship is a high-tech marvel in every aspect. Moreover, it’s super fast (especially in Boost mode), achieves 318 electric miles per charge, produces 536-horsepower, and features a 31” BMW Theatre Screen with built-in Amazon Fire TV and 8K resolution. And, of course, the i7 maintains the equivalent dynamic performance attributes we have come to expect from BMW, so no sacrifices were made in the product planning stages. Other amenities include Rear Executive Lounge Seating, a 36-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system, auto opening and closing doors similar to Rolls-Royce, crystal headlights developed in conjunction with Swarovski, and three years of free Electrify America charging.
Electrification of the 7 Series
The 7th generation 7 Series is an evolutionary wonder as humankind continues to figure out how to reduce our carbon footprints since our insatiable appetites have led to planetary degradation from a resource standpoint. As a result, we have no choice but to seek alternative fuel options to power the transportation industry, and currently, e-mobility is the best solution at our disposal. However, for individuals non-committal on electric vehicles, BMW still offers two gas engines for the all-new 7 Series: the 740i and its 3-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder and the 760i xDrive powered by a BMW Motorsport’s enhanced 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8. Both are engineered with 48V mild hybrid technology.
Now available in fully electric form, the i7 highlights two efficient electric motors with a combined output of 536-horsepower and 549 lb-ft of instant torque. It races from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and can travel 318 zero-emission miles (19” wheels) before a recharge is required. Furthermore, if you engage Boost mode (akin to Launch Control) the i7 will prepare itself for a hyper-warping takeoff. I tried this while my driving partner Brian Armstead was relaxing, and immediately he shouted and grabbed whatever he could to brace himself. All electric BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive, Highly Integrated E-Drive units on the front and rear axles, and BMW’s Gen5 Lithium-Ion 101.7 kWh battery unit comprise the i7’s electric powertrain. To extend the i7’s efficiency, only one motor needs to run on the highway and initially, iDrive is subdued but will kick in immediately when traction is required from all four wheels. Moreover, you want to drive in One Pedal mode as often as possible for energy regen and reduce the wear and tear from hydraulic braking since the i7 will slow down automatically when you release the accelerator. An 8-year/100,00-mile High-Voltage warranty backs the battery.
There are three levels of charging: Level 1 (your home outlet and the slowest), Level 2 (240v in-home installation or public infrastructure), and Level 3, aka DC Fast Chargers, which are mostly installed at public retail locations. As stated, BMW partnered with Electrify America to provide i7 owners with three years of complimentary unlimited public charging. High-speed DC 195 kW max charging will power your 7 Series 10 to 80% in 34 minutes. Meaning you can add 80 miles of range in just 10 minutes. An optimized cooling strategy, while DC charging is in progress further, improves the durability of the high-voltage battery. However, you don’t want to kill your battery over time from too much high-speed usage. When seeking a charging station, the cloud-based BMW Maps navigation system will help the i7 locate the charging-optimized route and tell the driver how much time is required to charge at that station. In addition, the charging software on board the new BMW i7 has been improved from the i4 and iX models. Electrify America currently has 800 charging stations and about 3,500 individual ultra-fast chargers open or under construction in the US. By 2026, the company plans to more than double its infrastructure with 1,800 charging stations.
BMW i7 Nuances
From the purifying ride to the opulent cockpit, the 7th generation 7 Series is impressive. Also, it’s ecologically thoughtful with floormats and other items made from recycled plastic bottles and offers a non-leather seating option. One of the modern features is the BMW Interaction Bar which extends across the dash and houses touch-sensitive controls. At night it lights up to your hue of choice. The main i7 features are highlighted through the fully digital 12.3” information display and the 14.9” control display screen. Integrated into the rear doors, 5.5” touchscreen remotes (BMW Touch Command) operate like an iPad mini to control everything from the optional $7,250 BMW Theater Screen to the massaging seat adjustments, ambient lighting, and rear sunshades. A BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant uses “Hey BMW” commands to operate the vehicle from opening and closing the doors to rolling down the windows. The assistant has 600 commands built in through iDrive. Standard BMW Live Cockpit Professional includes BMW iDrive 8 for more clarity and precision while using the Apps.
M Sport Package
The new i7 is a masterpiece on its own, but to truly enjoy all that BMW offers for the sporty touring sedan, the complimentary M Sport Package is at your disposal. The must-have package includes 21″ M Aerodynamic Jet Black rims, a thick and empowering 3-spoke flat-bottom M steering wheel, Shadowline exterior trim, M Sport exterior and interior elements, and illuminated threshold plates bearing the M logo. To advance the package further, upgrade to the M Sport Professional Package, which features M Sport Brakes with blue or black calipers, a discreet rear spoiler, and an Extended Shadowline Trim on the kidney grille. Unfortunately, this deletes the illumination around the grille.
Pricing and Coloring
MSRP for the i7 xDrive60 is $119,300 and the destination fee is $995. Keep in mind that the first batch has been reserved. One non-metallic and 13 metallic exterior colors can be ordered, including Dark Graphite metallic, Sparkling Copper metallic, and Space Silver metallic. Exclusivity comes from the $12,000 BMW Individual two-tone paint finish.
The 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 is a unique electric luxury sedan for conscious thinkers looking for the best of both worlds. On the one hand, owners desire to reduce their carbon footprint. Simultaneously, the other hand still requires an ultimate BMW driving machine that has been electrified and digitized while commanding a massive and stylish presence on the road.