BMW’s new i7 luxury EV claims 600km range

Luxury electric car will reach Irish customers this December

The i7, which will be priced from €132,210 for the i7 xDrive 60 version, will offer  between 590km and 625km range on a full charge

The i7, which will be priced from €132,210 for the i7 xDrive 60 version, will offer between 590km and 625km range on a full charge

 

BMW has - following much teasing and hinting - fully revealed its new 7 Series luxury saloon, and this time it’s coming with a fully-electric version.

The i7, which will be priced from €132,210 for the i7 xDrive 60 version, will be packing a 101.7kWh (net) battery pack, giving it between 590km and 625km range on a full charge.

That’s a little less than the 730km maximum range promised by Mercedes’ EQS, and also slightly less than the 650km promised by a Tesla Model S. The i7 will platform share with combustion-engined versions, so does that indicate that BMW’s plans to share components between electric and conventional cars is coming up short?

The i7 won’t be short of power - the xDrive60 version comes with four-wheel drive and 544hp (a 313hp motor at the rear, and a 258hp motor at the front) with a massive 745Nm of torque. That’s good enough to shove the i7 to 100km/h from standstill in just 4.7 seconds. Who needs an M-version, eh?

It will charge quickly too. As standard, the i7 will take and 11kW AC charge, while if you can find a sufficiently rapid public DC charger, it will accept a 195kW charge, enough to add 170km of extra range from just ten minutes of charging. The battery will also get a clever management system that will not only prolong its service life, but which will also allow it to charge more quickly than current designs as it approaches 100 per cent capacity.

The cloud-based navigation system will also automatically route you via charging points if your destination is too far away for the battery to handle in one go. The twin synchronous motors also don’t need any rare Earth metals in their construction, which further burnishes the i7’s environmental credentials.

The grilles at the front are not quite so over the top as those of the iX SUV
The grilles at the front are not quite so over the top as those of the iX SUV

It’s just as well that it’s caring and sharing under the skin, because from the outside it looks like a bit of a bruiser. Admittedly, the grilles at the front are not quite so over the top as those of the iX SUV, but they are still pretty big, and combine with the split-level headlamps (similar to those seen on the just-updated X7 SUV) they give the i7 quite the glowering look from the front. The grilles even light up at night, for the ultimate in motorised bling. Speaking of which, you can even have the headlights inset with Swarovski crystals - if you must…

The rest of the styling is quite blocky and square-edged, with slim brake lights similar to those used on the i4 electric four-door coupe. You can also have Rolls-Royce-esque two-tone paint finishes.

Inside, the i7 is appropriately luxurious. Up front, you get the same vast, curved digital dashboard as found in the iX, fitted with BMW’s latest eighth-generation infotainment software. There’s a new touch-sensitive ‘Interaction Bar’ which can be used to control the heating and air conditioning, and sits just below the 14-inch central touchscreen.

Big screen infotainment

However, if you can wait until the spring of 2023, you can set your rear seat passengers up with something even better - a vast 35-inch touchscreen with 8K picture quality and a Bowers & Wilkins stereo.

This, the BMW Theatre Screen, takes up almost the full width of the rear cabin, and is mounted behind the front seats. It folds out of a hatch in the ceiling and - for the full effect - BMW has worked with Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer to create a little fanfare which plays as the screen opens up. As it does so, the sunblinds for the side windows, rear window and panoramic glass sunroof are closed and the ambient lighting in the rear compartment is dimmed.

You can also specify the rear with reclining ‘lounge’ style seats, order cashmere wool upholstery, and there’s a ‘Sky Lounge’ panoramic glass roof option, too. The doors will also (optionally) open and close automatically when you touch the handles, or when you command them to from the BMW smartphone app.

If, for some reason, 625km of electric range isn’t enough for you, BMW will be offering some combustion-engined alternatives, in the shapes of the plug-in hybrid 750e xDrive and M760e xDrive which are set to follow in spring 2023.

There will also be a M-Performance version, which is set to pack a whopping 571hp, and there will be a second all-electric version, the i7 M70 xDrive, which we expect will use the 618hp twin-motor setup from the iX M60.