2023 BMW i7 Takes the 7-Series into the EV Era

  • BMW has lifted the curtain on its electric 2023 i7 flagship sedan, along with details on the EV’s powertrain, technology features, and interior.
  • A dual-motor all-wheel drive setup with 536 horsepower and around 300 miles of driving range will be standard; the i7’s starting price is a steep $120,295.
  • The i7 shares a chassis, new driver-assistance tech, and a swanky interior with the new 7-series sedan.

    The BMW 7-series is a key part of the brand’s luxury sedan lineup and the new seventh-generation model has embraced modern technology in a big way. Enter the i7, the first electric 7-series, which features two electric motors, 536 horsepower, and around 300 miles of driving range per charge.

    The sole powertrain is dubbed xDrive60 and is similar to what you’ll find in the BMW iX SUV, except that it’s slightly more powerful and the 101.7-kWh battery pack is a bit smaller. We’ve driven a prototype of the i7 near BMW’s headquarters in Munich, Germany, and can report that the i7’s acceleration is assertive and its cabin is exceedingly quiet when cruising.

    The i7’s battery can be recharged at a rate of up to 195 kilowatts at a DC fast charging station, and BMW says that a mere 10 minutes of charging time on such a connection will net around 80 miles of driving range. Buyers of the i7 will also receive complimentary charging sessions at Electrify America stations—many of which offer DC fast charging—for the first three years of ownership.

    Despite the presence of an adaptive air suspension and a rear-wheel steering system, the i7 is not really a sports sedan and its cabin is made for relaxing. Elegant materials line the spacious interior and attention to detail is evident. As with the exterior design, which is sure to be polarizing, BMW has taken some styling risks with the interior too, particularly with the digital dashboard which pairs two 12.3-inch displays in a floating glass panel serving as both infotainment and gauge cluster. That infotainment system, by the way, is BMW’s latest iDrive 8, which launched with the iX and is also available in the electric i4 sedan.

    Additionally, a glass panel stretching the width of the car and into the door panels illuminates in the driver’s choice of ambient lighting and also features integrated touch controls for the air vents as well as the hazard lights and glove box release. Plush seats offer massage, heating, and cooling functions.

    Rear-seat passengers are treated even better, especially with the optional Executive Lounge package which adds power-adjustable rear seats that recline. The right rear passenger also receives a footrest in this configuration and the front passenger seat motors forward to provide additional legroom.

    The other wow factor onboard is the optional Theater Screen rear entertainment system. Using a digital screen embedded into either of the rear door panels, passengers can deploy a giant, 31.3-inch touchscreen display from the i7’s roof and use it to browse the web or stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, or Amazon Prime content using the car’s cellular data connection.

    A host of driver-assistance features are on offer, too, including BMW’s new Highway Assistant, which will be exclusive to North American customers at the car’s launch. This mode allows for hands-free driving on U.S. and Canadian highways similar to systems such as Cadillac’s Super Cruise and Ford’s BlueCruise.

    The i7 is also capable of parking itself, maneuvering itself up and down your driveway, and reversing its way through a chaotic Trader Joe’s parking lot without bumping any wandering shopping carts.

    Look for the i7 to go on sale in fall 2022, but you might want to call your money guy now because the entry price for all this luxury and gadgetry is a staggering $120,295.

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