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Where Mercedes-Benz goes, so goes arch-rival BMW—and vice-versa. Now that Mercedes has introduced its electric S-class, the EQS, it’s no surprise that BMW is launching an all-electric flagship luxury sedan called the i7. The electric Bimmer has been developed jointly with the next-generation of the 7-series and delivers the same level of luxury as that gasoline-powered model. The i7 is powered by two electric motors and sports a battery pack large enough to compete with the EQS and other high-end electric sedans, such as the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan. Styling is more sedate than the recently debuted XM SUV concept but the 2023 BMW i7 still takes some risks, particularly with its front-end design, which includes unusually large grille intakes and split-element headlamps. A host of technology features intermingle with luxury materials inside rendering the i7 tailormade for buyers who want whisper-quiet luxury transport—and also those who intend to relax in the back while being chauffeured.
What's New for 2023?
The 2023 i7 will serve as the flagship of BMW's expanding “i” sub-brand of electric vehicles when it goes on sale in fall 2022.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
For now, the only version of the i7 that BMW will offer is the all-wheel drive xDrive60, but we expect a more sporty M-sport model eventually. Like the gasoline-powered 7-series, the i7 is a limo-like luxury sedan that can be configured to pamper rear-seat occupants with the optional Executive Lounge package. We'd recommend that package, as it adds plenty of features to justify its price tag, including plush, electrically-reclining rear seats with massage.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
The i7 uses a similar electric powertrain setup as the brand's new EV SUV, the iX, with two electric motors—one driving each axle—making a combined 536 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard and acceleration is brisk for such a large vehicle. BMW claims the i7 xDrive60 will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. We wouldn’t be surprised if it were even quicker. During our drive of a prototype model in Germany, we noted its particularly smooth ride and a hushed cabin. The i7 won't attract buyers looking for sports-sedan handling, but those seeking a comfortable and luxurious experience will find much to like. If you'd prefer a gasoline-powered 7-series, one is still available; we review that model separately.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
BMW says the i7 should offer a driving range of around 300 miles per charge, but the EPA hasn't released an official estimate yet. The car's large 101.7-kWh battery pack can be hooked up to DC fast charging stations and is said to be capable of adding 80 miles of driving range in just 10 minutes on such a connection. Speaking of charging, BMW is including three years of free 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America charging stations with every new i7.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
Official fuel economy numbers haven't been published and we haven't had a chance to test the i7 on our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route. Once we do, we'll update this story with test results. For more information about the i7's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Since they were developed jointly, the i7 benefits from the same spacious, luxurious, and upscale cabin ambiance as the gasoline-powered 7-series. In addition to luxuries, the i7 offers a bevy of high-tech convenience features that puts it on solid footing versus rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz EQS and the Tesla Model S. There's generous room in both the front and the rear seats and fine materials lining every square inch of the interior. Opt for the Executive Lounge package and your rear-seat passengers will be treated to power-adjustable reclining seats, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and extra-plush headrests. The trunk space is plentiful but if you're hauling longer items, you'll find a handy rear-seat pass through feature.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The i7 borrows its digital dashboard from the iX SUV, which consists of large floating digital- gauge and infotainment displays. Sandwiched together under a single pane of glass, the two displays offer a clear look at driving data and entertainment features. There is also an available rear-seat entertainment system featuring a large 31.3-inch screen that drops from the ceiling and can access streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube via the car's 5G cellular connection.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A host of driver-assistance features is standard with more advanced tech available optionally. Available features include a hands-free driving mode for use on the highway and a parking assistant system that allows the driver to exit the vehicle and park the car via a smartphone app. For more information about the i7's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features are expected to include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The i7 comes standard with the same warranty coverage as BMW's other electrified models, the iX SUV and the i4 sedan, which means basic coverage for four years or 50,000 miles and more generous protection for the electric-vehicle components. All new BMWs also come with a three-year complimentary maintenance plan.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- EV components warranty covers eight years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles