Just like the S-Class, the 7-Series is the ultimate showcase of what the folks at BMW can conjure up. It’s the flagship limousine. And while the world is warming up-to SUVs, the most powerful statement is still within the traditional canvas of a limousine. The BMW i7 is a case in point.
However, the world around us has moved at a rapid pace with newer markets emerging as the focus point for luxury carmakers. The new 7 Series is aimed squarely at markets like China and the U.S., where most of its customers lie. Hence, the slightly controversial design is pretty much in sync with the new thought philosophy at BMW.
BMW i7: Not your dad’s limo
Shock and awe are what the i7 is all about with its futuristic face changing the way top-end BMWs would look. The slim crystal LEDs are a worthy accompaniment to the massive grille which takes centre stage. It’s illuminated now, the kidney grille and the look are somewhat baffling to any traditional BMW loyalist albeit appealing to its core audience.
The buff stance along with the piercing stare lends the i7 a unique look from the front. The side profile and rear styling is a tad more conventional with a traditional sedan look unlike the EQS from Mercedes.
However, a limousine is judged by its interiors and how well it showers its occupants with technology and luxury. The i7 however veers towards sustainable luxury with a combination of cashmere wool/leather in its upholstery choice with the BMW ‘Individual’ option.
The interior design is simple and is dominated by touch surfaces including the curved display. The design is refreshing while the use of tactile materials like crystal, leather and presents a different take on what modern day luxury is.
This is quite possibly the strongest 7 Series yet.
Tech boundaries are pushed
Everything is digital of course while augmented reality, a massive Heads-up display and the latest iDrive system further pushes the tech boundaries. There are also ‘invisible’ vents while a crystalline surface panel runs across the width of the dashboard. That provides controls for ventilation and climate control, activating the hazard warning lights and opening the glove compartment. It’s backlighted and is touch-operated of course.
However, the party piece is the 31.3 inch 8K touchscreen display with Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system with in-seat ‘exciters’, and built-in touch screen remotes in the door panels. There’s an automated rear shade system that closes when the BMW Theatre Screen is turned on. It’s truly something else with a 4k resolution while you can stream videos/apps/play games etc. The controls are placed on the touch pads situated where the door handles are. Speaking of which the doors are automated.
New BMW i7: Combined power of 544 HP
The screen folds into the ceiling when not in use. You can customize it to move it closer or further from the rear passengers to put it within arm’s reach for touch controls or to manoeuvre it to the preferred viewing distance. BMW is immensely proud of this and indeed it has taken in-car entertainment to a new level. The innovative composer Hans Zimmer (he of the memorable soundtracks for movies like Gladiator, Dune, Dunkirk, and Inception) has even made a composition for this.
Conversation starter is the 31.3-inch 8K touchscreen with Hans Zimmer soundtrack
When in use, the ambient lighting is dimmed along with the sunroof being closed. There is also a 4D audio system with no less than 36 speakers. A sly lunge panoramic sunroof comes kitted out with new light effects! The more flexible architecture means that its wheelbase is now 5 mm longer at 3,215 mm with more space to lounge about.
The V12 powered 760li has been replaced with electrical force as the i7 gets a range-topping xDrive60 with two powerful motors. The motor at the rear has a peak output of 313hp, while the one at the front axle makes 258hp. Combined power is rated at 544hp and 745Nm. Hence, 0 to 62mph comes up in 4.7 seconds. Regular gas-powered models are there too along with plug-in models in the offing.
BMW i7: Price starts just under $150,000
Rather interestingly, regular gas-powered models and the EV version are priced the same. That represents how BMW is keen to push the stakes higher with the i7. Prices start at just under $150,000.
The i7 is certainly impressive at first glance with its myriad technology upgrades along with being garnished sinful luxury. That said, the simple yet futuristic cabin also comes along with some environmental consciousness-factors that define modern day luxury. Overall, it does take the fight to its German rivals. This is quite possibly the strongest 7 Series yet.