First BMW i7 test drive: this is how the new electric 7 Series drives

The best car in the world? Insofar as it exists – basically it just depends on what kind of car you are looking for – it has always been the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the frantic attempts that BMW since 1977 with the 7 series and Audi since 1994 with the A8 are committed to dethrone the king despite this. Now BMW has revamped the 7 Series, with the manufacturer going all out. Have the cards been reshuffled? The new 7 Series will be available with combustion engines, more precisely a straight-six and a V8, as a plug-in hybrid and as an all-electric i7. So at BMW they have allowed all drive variants to come together on one platform. We should immediately point out that the version with internal combustion engine only for Holland concerns only the six-cylinder diesel (740d).

The Design 7 series is causing a stir

The design has already caused quite a stir, but judge for yourself. The design was determined on the one hand by the generous dimensions of the car, which is 5.39 meters long and 1.95 meters wide. And on the other hand, we don’t have to be secretive about this, from the major markets. These are China, where 45 percent of Series 7s go, Japan and Korea (26 percent), and the United States (20 percent). European countries are only the crumbs left, with a percentage of just 9 percent. So it’s no surprise that the design preferences of people in distant places matter more than ours, and in those countries they like to show off how much money they have. Let’s just say the new BMW 7 Series looks impressive nonetheless. We can reassure you a little, because live it looks much more harmonious and less flamboyant than in photos. However, underrated is different.

BMW 7 Series i7 2022

The optional mega screen in the rear of the BMW 7 Series.

Optional 31.3-inch touchscreen in the rear

At BMW it is a great show, in the literal sense of the word. An important part is an (optional) 31.3-inch touchscreen with 8K resolution in the rear, which is hidden in the headlining and folds away when needed. When the display comes down with a gentle buzz, it certainly doesn’t go unnoticed, because BMW has put together a whole show around it. The shades close, the ambient lighting dims, and a melody composed under the direction of Hollywood composer and Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer is heard. The system displays Amazon Fire content, videos, games, music, apps, and TV shows. Sound your best with the optional Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system. Another option is the Executive Lounge, with an extendable reclining seat in the right rear.

BMW i7 - First driving test

i7 curved display

At the front it’s a little less decadent, but definitely luxurious. There is enough space available, the seats are very comfortable, the materials and finishes are refined and of high quality. The i7 also has the curved display. It looks impressive, but for purists it might be graphically a bit too good. This also applies to the touchscreen menus, with an almost infinite number of functions. You can get quite lost, but the iDrive controller on the center console serves as a lifeline. Intelligent voice control is also always by your side.

xDrive60

The i7 xDrive60, which has been available since market launch and which we also drove, is powered by a 258hp front and 313hp rear electric motor; the power of the system is 544 hp. The battery has a (net) capacity of 101.7 kWh, the range is up to 625 kilometers (WLTP) according to BMW. You can charge with up to 22 kW AC and 195 kW DC; it therefore takes 34 minutes to charge the battery from 10 to 80 percent. The accelerator pedal responds sensitively, the steering is easy to dose and the recovery works well.

BMW i7 First driving test

Incredibly light

The 7 gets standard air suspension, adaptive dampers and four-wheel steering. The test car also had rollover stabilization options and 21-inch wheels. The i7 handles excellently, you can drive it quietly and very fast. Accelerate with emphasis and with the ease and power we know from the powerfully motorized ones electric machineS. It drives very confidently and, thanks to a mass of no less than 2.7 tons, lies like a block on the road. Nonetheless, we can describe it as surprisingly agile and dynamic, although the quiet cruising probably suits the character of its powertrain better, also given the supple suspension and excellent overall suspension comfort. The generous amount of cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radars makes an impressive amount of assistance systems possible. The cheapest option to drive a 7 Series is the 750e plug-in hybrid with a starting price of 124,207 euros. The i7 is available in our country starting at €141,809, while the 740d reaches €130,979. Get the best car in the world for that amount of money? It just might.

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