The 2023 BMW i7 proves a luxurious automotive doesn’t want inner combustion


A BMW i7 with mountains in the background
Enlarge / BMW is now assured sufficient in its EV powertrains that it is made a completely electrical 7 Collection alongside the gasoline-powered variations.

Jonathan Gitlin

PALMS SPRINGS, Calif.—For many years, automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have fought one another in group assessments for the title of “world’s finest automotive,” an honor awarded by numerous magazines. The battle has often been between the 7 Collection and the S-Class, with occasional challenges from Lexus. Jaguar and Cadillac typically path behind.

At the moment, there is a severe new contender for the crown as BMW’s latest technology 7 Collection goes on sale.

I obtained hooked on cars-as-technology in the course of the early ’90s, and what a manner the automobiles have come since, as powertrains have pushed new limits and power sources, and interiors have develop into extra cosseting and protecting of their occupants.

The Bavarian OEM made the choice a number of years in the past to put money into a powertrain-agnostic car structure, so the brand new 7 Collection shall be out there with an inner combustion engine, as a plug-in hybrid (which is able to come to the US in time), and as a completely battery-electric model known as the i7. BMW introduced each gasoline and BEVs to Palm Springs for the worldwide first drive, and you’ll be able to learn concerning the 760i xDrive elsewhere on these pages at present.

However the star of the present is the i7, which but once more proves that if you wish to make a luxurious automotive even higher, give it electrical motors.

Electron-power really does make for a better luxury car.
Enlarge / Electron-power actually does make for a greater luxurious automotive.

Jonathan Gitlin

The electrical model has full characteristic parity with its petrol-powered companion, together with a brand new superior driver help system that allows you to cruise hands-free on premapped divided-lane highways and an enormous curved theater show for fortunate rear seat passengers. BMW has even managed to make the automotive enjoyable to drive.

The electrical powertrain tech within the i7 is now comparatively acquainted. It is BMW’s Fifth-generation EV powertrain, and it debuted in final yr’s i4 sedan and iX SUV. It makes use of the identical household of electrically excited synchronous motors for each axles, fed by a lithium-ion battery pack that makes use of prismatic cells. (BMW is switching to cylindrical cells for its sixth-gen EV platform, which we’ll see in 2025’s Neue Klasse.)

There’s only a single i7 on sale for now, the $119,300 i7 xDrive60. The car makes use of a 255 hp (190 kW), 296 lb-ft (401 Nm) entrance motor and a 308 hp (230 kW), 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) rear motor with a mixed whole output of 536 hp (400 kW) and 549 lb-ft (745 Nm). The battery pack has a usable 101.7 kWh out of a complete capability of 105.7 kWh.

This is the second BMW 7 series launch held in Palm Springs that Ars has attended; someone must like mid-century architecture as much as I do.
Enlarge / That is the second BMW 7 collection launch held in Palm Springs that Ars has attended; somebody should like mid-century structure as a lot as I do.


The i7 has an official EPA vary estimate of 318 miles (512 km) on the smaller 19-inch wheels and 308 miles (496 km) when clad with 21-inch wheels, as was our check automotive. Over the course of a 2.5-hour drive that featured a whole lot of elevation change and little or no city driving, I averaged 2.7 miles/kWh (23 kWh/100 km), barely higher than the two.6 miles/kWh (23.9 kWh/100km) EPA ranking.

Charging ups and downs

DC fast-charging takes 34 minutes to return the battery to 80 % state of cost (SoC), or 80 miles (129 km) for each 10 minutes, and i7 homeowners will get three years of limitless charging periods at Electrify America. I tried to cost my check i7, however my fast-charging try resulted in partial success. I arrived on the charger with 56 % SoC remaining, however the session was terminated on account of a fault or error after only a few minutes and 9.5 kWh, which took the battery to 67 % SoC.

If I had truly wanted to prime the battery as much as 80 %, I might have unplugged the automotive and plugged it again in to attempt to troubleshoot, however I did not want 80 % and did not really feel like losing half an hour on the telephone to be instructed that nobody else is aware of why it occurs, both.

Upon my return, I let the BMW engineers know concerning the problem, and after they realized I used to be utilizing an EVgo charger, they gave a understanding nod and stated sure, they’d been experiencing issues with that financial institution all month. (BMW introduced in waves of worldwide media over a number of weeks to drive the i7; Ars and the opposite US and Canadian shops had been the final of these.) Past that, they did not know what the issue was, which simply reinforces my argument about fast-charger reliability from earlier this summer time.


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