This Article

2023 BMW i7 is the polarizing new all-electric flagship

The 2023 BMW i7 has finally debuted alongside the rest of the seventh generation 7 Series family. This marks the first time that BMW’s flagship full-size sedan gets a fully electric version and will be the third model in the i subbrand following the iX and i4.

If you’re looking for a big luxurious four-door that’s restrained yet elegant, this isn’t it. The 2023 BMW i7’s new look is in your face and simply put, polarizing. From the split headlights to the massive enclosed twin-kidney grille that lights up, this beast will get attention everywhere. You can even get Swarovski crystals on the headlights if you’re looking to add extra unique lighting elements. They also create the car’s welcome and goodbye greeting when you approach or leave. BMW didn’t follow the coupe-like trend for its flagship sedan, meaning the i7 retains the familiar three-box design. In the back, the i7 gets slim L-shaped LED taillights with an integrated chrome strip.

Versus the outgoing 7 Series, the new car is 5.1 inches longer, 1.9 inches wider, and 2 inches taller. It also has a 0.2-inch longer wheelbase at 16.6 inches. In addition to the 10 available exterior colors, the i7 offers three extra options: Dark Graphite Metallic, Sparkling Copper Metallic, and Space Silver Metallic. You can also opt for a two-tone finish for the first time via BMW Individual. Five choices are available for the lower portion of the vehicle while the upper part above the shoulder line is available with two. They are then separated by a coach line drawn to distinguish the upper and lower portions.

Inside, the i7’s cabin looks familiar because it’s essentially a reinterpretation of what first appeared on the iX and i4, which isn’t a bad thing. You’ll find neat materials like available cashmere portions for the seats, open-pore wood trim, and stainless-steel speaker covers. BMW’s curved display houses two screens under a single glass panel, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and a 14.9-inch main touch screen. The layout has been designed with a smartphone-like appearance and changes its colors and effects based on the mode selected. There’s also a new interaction bar that houses haptic feedback controls for climate, the hazard lights, and other functions like calling up the virtual assistant. Each rear door houses a 5.5-inch touch screen that allows passengers to control their entertainment from the available 31.3-inch rear-entertainment system called the BMW Theater Screen, which can stream 4K/UHD content from AmazonFire TV. It also adjusts climate controls, the audio system, rear sunshades, and interior ambient lighting. The i7 also comes standard with an 18-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, and you can further upgrade it to a 36-speaker unit with 1,965 watts and 4D audio capability.

BMW’s latest iDrive system maximizes connectivity with a personal eSIM and 5G connectivity. This turns the i7 into a connected device and improves mobile reception thanks to its 5G antenna. The virtual assistant also gains new capabilities including reacting to instructions from rear passengers. Those in the front seat can also stream YouTube while the vehicle is stationary, perfect while you’re waiting for the vehicle to charge.

Every i7 gets heated and ventilated multi-contour front and rear seats as standard equipment. You can also add a massaging function with nine modes. There’s also an Executive Lounge option that adds an integrated leg rest for the rear seats, heard armrests, a smartphone tray, and individually adjustable neck cushions. Merino leather upholstery is standard on the i7, which can be extended to cover the entire cabin. An Alcantara headliner is also available via BMW Individual Composition along with Merino Leather/cashmere wool upholstery in two-tone Smoke White/Light Grey. BMW’s Panoramic Sky Lounge sunroof with LED lighting is now a single piece of fixed glass and extends the illuminated section to the rear area. It also has new designs and forms part of the car’s welcome effect.

BMW will offer the i7 in xDrive60 guise, which uses two electric motors making 536 hp and 549 lb-ft of torque combined. This allows the sedan to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds before going to an electronically-limited top speed of 149 mph. The i7 features adaptive recuperation that predicts when you need stronger or weaker regeneration and enables the vehicle to coast and freewheel on the highway when the driver eases off the accelerator. You can choose between three settings: low, medium, and high, the latter of which becomes the default when you put the i7 in B mode. BMW expects the i7 to get a 300-mile EPA rating and is basing its internal testing on that cycle.

The 105.7-kWh battery has a usable capacity of 101.7 kWh and a can DC charge at peak rates of 195 kW. This allows it to regain 80 miles in 10 minutes and charge from 10 to 80 percent in 34 minutes. A 0 to 100 percent charge using an AC charger takes 10.5 hours at rates of up to 11 kW. A heat pump is standard to help boost efficiency and minimize draw on the drive battery. Every i7 owner will also get three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America. BMW also ensured that charging rates dropped smoothly at higher charge levels to improve the overall curve and reduce charging times. The built-in navigation system can also give you a charging optimized route if you can’t make it to your destination on your current charge level.

An air suspension with electronically controlled dampers is standard on the i7 to provide a good balance of comfort and agility. At higher speeds or in Sport mode, the car lowers itself by 0.4 inches. You can also raise it by 0.8 inches to avoid scraping it on steep driveways and inclines. BMW increased the body rigidity and made wider tires standard to improve its handling. An elastic gear mounting has been added to keep noise levels down. The i7 also gets unique motor mounts and new bi-directional hydro mounts on the rear axle subframe to enhance its comfort levels.

A new electric power steering system now varies its ratio based on the steering angle and includes Servotronic speed-sensitive power assistance. Like the powertrain and suspension, it can be adjusted individually in the MyMode feature. The Integral Active Steering also includes rear-wheel steering for improved handling and to make the i7 easier to maneuver on tight roads. For those wanting to maximize the sportiness of their electric full-size sedan, the M Sport package adds unique exterior tweaks including a front apron with M-specific geometry and a three-section lower air intake. You’ll also be able to choose from alloy wheels ranging from 20 to 21 inches in diameter with either all-season or high-performance summer tires. You can further extend the sporty look via the M Sport Professional package, which adds M Sport brakes with blue or black calipers, a rear spoiler, and extended Shadowline trim on the grille.

All i7s get a long list of collision avoidance and driver assistance features as standard. This includes lane centering, evasive assist, front automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. You can further upgrade the car with the Driving Assistance Professional package, which adds augmented reality warnings and a new Highway Assistant feature. The latter allows for hands-off driving on the highway at speeds of up to 80 mph but requires the drivers to pay attention to the road ahead. Automated parking is also available and can be upgraded to remember maneuvers in tight spaces so you can let the car do all the work.

Production of the 2023 BMW i7 starts this year at the company’s Dingolfing plant in Germany. Sustainability is a key driving factor for BMW’s all-electric lineup and is ensuring all components are sourced responsibly. Additionally, BMW Group is making extensive use of secondary materials with the 7 Series family already utilizing as much as 50 percent secondary aluminum. The i7’s electric motors also don’t use rare earth metals for their rotors, while the facilities the vehicles are being built in are using renewable power. When it goes on sale near the end of 2022, the 2023 i7 xDrive60 will start at $120,295.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
Follow Author
Receive weekly updates on each of our electrifying articles.