Luxury sedan buyers looking for a new electric vehicle can now add BMW to their very shortlist. The 2023 i7 xDrive60 is the German brand’s first entry into the luxury electric sedan space dominated by the Tesla Model S and was recently boosted with the 2021 Mercedes EQS.
BMW was an early investor in electric technology with cars like the i3 Compact and i8 sports coupe, but unlike those cars, the i4 and iX, and its EV sedan rivals, the i7 isn’t a standalone model built on a custom electric vehicle architecture. Instead, it’s an electrified version of the new 2023 G70 7-Series, which is also available with a six-cylinder and the powerhouse V8.
You can decide on the merits of this strategy, but what matters to us is which luxury electric sedan will get your virtual (or perhaps real) dollars. Would you choose a BMW i7 over a Mercedes EQS, Lucid Air, Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron GT or Tesla Model S? Let’s summarize what each person has to offer.
BMW i7 xDrive60: $119,300
BMW’s all-new G70-code 7 series is also available with mild-hybrid petrol engines, but the flagship is no longer the V12, but rather the new i7 xDrive60 electric motor, at least initially. Equipped with a 255 hp (259 hp) engine driving the front axle, and a 308 hp (312 hp) unit at the rear, the i7 xDrive60 produces a combined 536 hp (543 hp) and 549 lb-ft (745 Nm) of torque, up to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5 seconds, and it can drive hands-free at speeds of up to 80 mph (129 km/h).
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Wait until 2023, and you’ll be able to buy the i7 M70 xDrive. BMW is vague about the exact stats, but claims that the electric heating rod will produce 597 hp (600 hp) and “over” 737 lb-ft (1,000 Nm) of torsion, making it the most torquey production car the company has ever built, Although many BMWs can beat their 4.0-second time from zero to 62 mph (97 km/h).
The 101.7 kWh battery underground can be charged up to 195 kWh, which isn’t as much as some electric cars, but BMW says it’s enough to add 80 miles (129 km) of driving in 10 minutes. The company claims a driving range of 300 miles (483 km), and US buyers will enjoy three years of 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America stations at no cost (other BMWs get two years).
They’ll also enjoy BMW’s latest curved dashboard touchscreen that includes the iDrive8, play with a touch-sensitive full-width light bar running across the dashboard, and access video-on-demand content such as YouTube. To be honest, though, it looks pretty conservative compared to any of the Mercedes EQS’s dashboard setups, but then a Benz with a massive 31-inch rear entertainment screen can’t be chosen instead of turning the back of the i7 into a small movie theater.
But your buying decision may still depend on whether you love or hate the way the i7 looks, specifically that front end, which was borrowed from the new X7. The basic M Sport appearance package is optional at no extra cost, but there are two other packages that up the performance trait, the first adding so many black trim that it’s almost impossible to pinpoint any details at all. Worth considering…
Mercedes EQS: $103,360-147,500
Although the Mercedes S-Class PHEV offers an impressive 62-mile (100 km) EV range, if you want a full-size, all-electric luxury sedan, you’ll have to switch to Benz’s custom electric EQ lineup and try out the EQS-size.
At 205.4 inches (5216 mm) long, the Mercedes is about 7 inches (178 mm) shorter than the i7, but it rides on a nearly identical wheelbase of 126.4 inches (3,210 mm). And while there will only be one i7 available at launch, the $119,300, 536-hp xDrive60 twin-engine (543 hp), the EQS range offers more options.
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It starts at $103,360 for a 329-hp (334-hp) single-engine EQS 450 and goes up to a $123,560 EQS 580, which has a 516-hp (523-hp) all-wheel drive setup from the dual-motor setup. Then there’s the $147,500 AMG EQS, a 649 hp super sedan that can be pushed to 751 hp (761 hp) if you opt for the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package and take advantage of the boost mode.
All EQS models use the same 107.8 kWh battery pack and are rated between 340 miles (547 km) and 350 miles (563 km) by the EPA, giving it a useful range advantage over the i7, despite two years of Free shipping at Electrify America stations offered to US customers beats BMW’s three-year deal.
BMW also has the option of a 31-inch rear infotainment screen, but whether you choose the standard S-Class interior for your EQS, or the optional 56-inch Hyperscreen dashboard, Mercedes delivers even more interior delight.
Tesla Model S: $104,490-140,490
The Tesla Model S, the car that launched the all-electric luxury action, is nearly a decade old, and after having owned things its own way for most of that time, it suddenly faced a barrage of opposition from other startups and old automakers like BMW and Mercedes.
The wheelbase of 116.5 inches (2,960 mm) means the S is up to 9 inches (229 mm) shorter between axles than BMW and Mercedes, but certainly not short the distance you can go between electric fills. The entry-level Long Range model is rated at 405 miles (652 km) by the EPA, and the 1,020 hp (1,034 hp) Plaid doesn’t lag much at 396 miles (637 km), although unlike early Teslas, neither The current Model S lineup offers free charging through the company’s Supercharger network.
The $140,490 Plaid’s under 10-second performance and ability to go from zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 1.99 seconds (if you think of Tesla’s slightly naughty sportsman) is unbeatable in this segment. , but it’s overkill for most buyers when the base car costs $104,000 and can still do the job in 3.1 seconds.
The recent update brought a new landscape touchscreen and the infamous Yoke steering wheel (since copied by Lexus on the new RZ450e), but the S-model’s interior is best suited for someone who loves minimalist design and isn’t looking for the last word in luxury materials.
Lucid Air 77400-179,000 dollars
Old automakers like BMW and Mercedes aren’t the only brands after a slice of Tesla’s pie. The Lucid Air’s range starts at $77,400 for a pure rear-wheel drive single-cylinder engine that delivers 480 hp (487 hp) and a driving range of 408 miles (657 km), stats that should be more convenient for most people.
But they suddenly look totally out of place next to the performance of the new Grand Touring, which can travel 451 miles (725 km) on a charge, which makes it 1,050 hp (1,065 hp) the most powerful EV currently available in America now at 1,111 hp (1,126 PS) Dream Edition Performance sold out. It is also one of the most expensive at $179,000.
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Tesla’s Model S Plaid can still put the clean air between it and the most powerful Lucid, which needs 2.6 seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km/h), and the mid-spec Air Grand Touring engine 819 hp (830 PS) is beyond that. Speed in 3.0 seconds. But it rolls back an incredible 516 miles (830 km) when fitted with 19-inch wheels. No EV goes further between fills, though the $139,000 price tag (which is around $1,500 in Tesla Model S Plaid money) means you’ll be paying for the privilege.
Porsche Taycan $82,700 – $185,000
The Porsche Taycan and its cousin the Audi e-tron GT are more like a four-door coupe than regular electric sedans in the BMW mold. But with the right kind of powertrain, the right decals and sharp styling, you just know potential BMW buyers will consider at least both.
And when they do, they may also be surprised to find that they can get into the Taycan for less than $83,000. That only buys 402 hp (408 hp) and 225 miles (362 km) of EPA driving range, however, the 5.1-second 0-60 mph (96 km/h) time seems normal in this company.
You could spend nearly $100,000 on a Turbo S that cuts sixty times in half, but for the i7 that costs $119K, your best bets are the 522 hp (529 hp) Taycan 4S priced at $103,800 and the new 590 hp (598) hp) GTS which will set you back $131,400. Both will get the i7 out of the water for straight-line speed and handling fun, but don’t expect the 7-Series’ levels of ride comfort, noise isolation, passenger space or driving range.
Audi e-tron GT: $102,400-142,400
Audi recently improved the A8 sedan, but the facelift didn’t add full EV value to the lineup. If you want a luxury electric four-door with four rings at the front that isn’t an SUV, your Audi dealer will point you toward the e-tron GT.
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Woven from the same basic set of components as the Porsche Taycan, the GT shares its fast-charging 800-volt electrical system that can take the battery from 5 to 80 percent in 23 minutes. But it also suffers from the same basic drawbacks that will disappoint buyers looking for a luxury electric sedan: a driving range of less than 240 miles (386 km) and limited rear distance.
Audi’s smaller lineup means the entry-level GT actually costs more than the base Taycan. But that $102,400 base is a rocket-powered 522 hp (529 hp) four-wheel drive that is in line with the Taycan 4S, while $142,400 buys the 637 hp (646 hp) RS.
Which electric sedans worth over $100,000 would you take? Leave a comment and let us know.