And, you’ll have to decide: ride or drive?
I didn’t expect to be impressed by the BMW i7 electric car when it was introduced to the media recently; I’d already driven the iX and was so blown away I couldn’t imagine how they would improve on that experience.
And, then, they added Swarovski crystal headlights, reclining rear seats, a theater screen that descends from the ceiling in the rear seat, leather and cashmere upholstery (yes, cashmere!). And, it’s not just an electric car, as the iX is; the i7 is also available as the 740i or 760i sedans with a V8 and or turbo charged V6 gas option (priced from $93K for the 740i to $119K for the i7). Talk about the ultimate driving (and riding) machine; your only difficult choice is whether to drive or ride in the rear.
The electric i7 sedan—and its gas powered siblings—is not just the pinnacle of the brand’s ultra luxury lineup, but it’s also the third electric car to join the lineup of the iX and i4. However, it promises to be the best driving electric in the group.
The Delight of Driving BMW’s Electric Cars Just Got Better, Too
What I loved so much about the iX was the combination of beautiful luxury and a stellar electric performance. This large SUV went miles and miles beyond the estimated battery range of 324 miles. It regained battery charge when crawling through traffic. Its one-pedal driving mode (BMW tags it as “B” mode) is super efficient and easy to get used to. And, there are so many innovative details in the iX that was a delight to explore.
The i7, though, promises to even better regenerative braking and battery recuperation through better-engineered technology. It carries the same 536 horsepower motor and instant acceleration, which was really fun on curvy roads and on ramps in the iX. And while BMW hasn’t estimated the range yet on the i7, it should land somewhere north of 300, similar to the iX. Also similar, the i7 will be able to recharge 80% of the battery in 34 minutes at a DC fast charger and fully charge in10.5 hours at a level 2 charger ( or a 240V household outlet).
No Rare Earths Used in this Battery System? YAY
Then, here’s something that really stood out: BMW uses no rare earth materials in producing its batteries, and the company adheres to responsible raw materials production, using recyclable materials and ensuring a responsible supply chain, even procuring certain materials on its own, such as cobalt, rather than relying on suppliers. With the clouding skies over materials that go into electric car batteries and systems, this is a reassuring detail.
Resting Assured… In Pampering Luxury
Probably the thing that struck me most was all the Swarovski crystal in the i7— even more than in the iX, which is sort of hard to believe. Not only are there Swarovski control surfaces inside the car, such as the gear selector, the iDrive dial and the seat controls, but the daytime running lights on the 7 series are Swarovski too.They sparkle and light up as you approach with your key. What a welcome!
The 7 series sports new upholstery made from leather and cashmere, and a larger panoramic sunroof with ambient lighting that creates a light show effect when it’s on.
Rear seat passengers (you, maybe?) will have to compete for the passenger’s side seat; it reclines and has an extending foot rest, creating the perfect position to relax and watch a movie on the 31” theater style screen that unfolds from the ceiling and the accompanying cinematic sound system. To control the screen (or climate or sound) there are hand-held devices that tuck into the door panels and light up so you can see them.
Not to feel left out, drivers of the new 7 Series will experience a more finely tuned drive experience and a new curved glass interactive multimedia screen that holds a 12.3” driver info screen and a 14.9” media screen, all with BMW’s newest
The X7 Also Gets A New Look, Inside and Out
The X7 3-row SUV wasn’t left out of the makeover, but it didn’t get the celebrity treatment that the sedans got; the 2023 model sports a new look to the front with a new lower bumper and slim new daytime running lights. There are slim new tail lights and a chrome bar that spans the tail gate. And, there’s a new look to the interior upholstery (including elegant new seat backs) and new interior colors to choose from.
The highlight may be the front of the cabin, though, with a new multimedia screen, a single pane of glass that houses a 12.4” driver information screen and a 14.9” multimedia system. The single pane stands apart on the wood-grained dash from the air vents and control buttons underneath. Overall, the cabin has an even more premium look and feel. Sadly, for me anyway, the X7 is not electrified, but my guess is that it won’t be too long before there’s a plug in option and hopefully, a fully electric version, which is sorely needed in the 3-row SUV segment.
Some of the details are simply spectacular, it’s great to see that the company is building on designs introduced in earlier models rather than abandoning them, such as the Swarovski crystal features. We love that the great electric performance is coming to the 7 series sedan; add that and the theater screen and cinematic sound to the X7 and we’re in heaven.