Exclusive AP – On board the BMW i7, the seventh art of the car

In general, it is the driver who enjoys the best seat in an electric car. Not in the BMW i7 xDrive60, where rear seat passengers will receive unprecedented comfort for a standard modern sedan.

Small comparison

At the launch of its electric range, BMW probably already had the idea of ​​offering a large sedan or luxury limousine. The name i7 was registered by the German manufacturer in 2012. Internal leaks had allowed to imagine the ship since early 2019. At that time it was a range of close to 600 km and an engine capable of developing a power of 640. horsepower, or 470 kW.

As for the range, BMW confirms today: between 590 and 625 km according to the WLTP standard and depending on the options on board. However, it is feasible in actual use with a car of 5.39 by 1.95 m for a height of 1.54 m, weighing about 2.7 tons with its driver, and equipped with a battery with a usable power capacity of 101.7 kWh ?

Question power, are we down compared to the figures released in 2019? Apparently yes, if we stop at the first available propulsion train on the BMW i7. The two coiled rotor synchronous motors now have a total of 400 kW (544 hp), for a good maximum torque of 745 Nm. Enough to reduce the 0-100 km / h in 4.7 seconds. But the next M70 version will increase the numbers by 485 kW (660 hp).

7th Generation Series 7

The i7 we present to you in preview integrates the 7th generation of the 7 Series to be presented at the Beijing Motor Show in April 2022. It has an electric architecture similar to that of the BMW iX model that is already in circulation, as well as its adaptive air suspension.. The family will be completed with a plug-in hybrid version and the 740d powered by a 6-cylinder diesel unit.

The nose of this all-wheel drive electric sedan fits the new design inaugurated with the X7 SUV with, on both sides of the two-part grille, laser-type lighting and a line of Swarovski diamonds of which we will find reminders inside (+ 900 euros), on the dashboard, but also at the level of driving selectors and driving mode.

The i7 will stand out more with a two-tone color billed 12,500 euros as an option, or enhanced in M ​​Sport finish. For an additional 4,300 euros, the latter will be especially distinguished by its 20-inch two-tone aerodynamic wheels fitted with mixed tires.

on the back

With a BMW i7 that will often serve as a limousine for the leaders of major companies, should we expect a large trunk? No, of course not. If necessary, a trailer of up to 750 kg can be towed. The volume released behind the trunk lid is only 500 liters here. With a ski hatch, but without the possibility of tilting it, the backrest of the rear seats will not help to improve.

To slip from the latter, the model made available to us was equipped with the automatic opening and closing of the doors (+ 1,600 euros). Detectors prevent you from hitting an obstacle, even a touch of grass. Access on board is quite wide. Your knees will not touch the backrests of the front seats. The seats have heating, ventilation, massages and electric in the 4 main seats (front and rear executive relaxation packages: 2,100 + 4,650 euros).

Due to a harder folder and a relatively large service tunnel, it is best to reserve the middle one for troubleshooting. The large central armrest with large storage, USB-C plugs and induction charger would be camouflaged.

Great luxury

A large panoramic glass roof without opening (+ 1,000 euros) covers the BMW i7. On the right armrest, a small screen to play with different settings and modes. When you press Relax, the rear windows, including the ceiling and the rear window, will darken.

It is possible to fully extend the legs sitting on the right (+ 2,300 euros). The front seat is designed for this, with the possibility of moving it later than usual.

In this position, you may want to take advantage of the multimedia station (+ 4,900 euros). It is represented by the very large 32.9-inch screen that unfolds from the ceiling, and will be enhanced with the acoustic staging of the Hi-Fi Surround Sound system (+5,900 euros). With all this, you can enjoy videos from Youtube, Netflix, Fire TV, etc. “At the moment, it is unique in car production”emphasizes Maxime Fontanier.

Net front

At the front of the i7, the driver and his neighbor will find an atmosphere already familiar with the BMW iX. It is both luxurious and refined. At the top of the dashboard, the leather with seams gives way to scraps of wood and then a strip of diamond-style light that changes color depending on the driving mode.

This endowment benefits from the BMW Individual interior (+ 4,300 euros) provided by Merino leather upholstery, and the anthracite gray Alcantara roof (+ 1,250 euros). If all this was not luxurious enough for you and / or you prefer carbon fiber to wood, you could opt for the £ 13,500 Gran Lusso interior.

The multimedia system in the center of the dashboard is especially fluid. It extends to its left through the digital display that shows the driving information in the classic way, behind the wheel. “It’s very impressive in terms of build quality, and it’s the best there is today.”, thanks our verifier. Luxury is so present on board that we almost forget the devices that bring level 2 autonomous driving to the machine.

Prices

If we stop at pprice of the basic model proposed at 139,900 eurosas long as you uncheck the options automatically integrated with the Sublime, Sculptural and Masterful atmospheres found on the BMW website, the i7 would seem almost economical given the exceptional level of comfort it is able to offer.

But with the options we have identified, not to mention all of them, the bill exceeds 180,000 euros. Without them, this car looks more classic.

It is not really the Tesla Model S that the Bavarian brand is looking for with its limousine, but the Mercedes EQS. The BMW i7 is expected to land at French dealerships by the end of this year 2022.

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