BMW has revealed images and details of its new 7 Series flagship saloon.
Set to go on sale later this year, BMW says the new car, which will be available as a hybrid or all-electric model, will redefine the luxury segment with “new levels of electrification, sustainability and digitalisation”.
The German marque is positioning the seventh generation of its flagship even further upmarket as it looks to compete with the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8.
BMW describes the i7’s design as “graceful” and “distinctive”. It’s certainly the latter, in the same way that most of its recent models have been. Sticking to the mantra “more is more” the 7 Series boasts possibly the biggest and ugliest incarnation of BMW’s oversized kidney grille, flanked by split Matrix LED headlight units. For good measure, the massive grille can be illuminated and there will be an optional headlight pack featuring Swarovski crystals, which are said to “create an unmistakable light graphic”.
The new 7 Series will only be offered in long-wheelbase configuration and, at 5,391mm long, is 13cm longer than the outgoing model, offering a more imposing footprint and more interior space.
Inside, the new 7 Series adopts the German firm’s latest curved touchscreen display, incorporating a large touchscreen that merges with a digital dial display. Passengers in the rear can also enjoyBMW’s new “Theatre Screen”. Available as an option, a 31-inch display emerges from the roof lining and spreads out across the rear of the interior. It comes with Amazon Fire TV integration and a full Bowers and Wilkins sound system (with up to 36 speakers) and aims to offer a cinema-like experience.
Another feature debuting on the new 7 Series is an “Interaction Bar”, which extends out of the dashboard and houses touch-sensitive controls for adjusting the ventilation and climate control.
In the rear, the new 7 Series promises noticeably more headroom than before, while touchscreens in the rear door cards enable control of the Theatre Screen (if fitted) and climate settings. A range of rear seat packages are also available, including reclining, ventilated and massaging functions. Other high-end features available include electric-opening doors and a panoramic glass sunroof that can display a light show with backlit LEDs.
While other markets will continue to get the 7 Series with regular petrol and diesel engines, BMW has said that in the UK it will be sold purely as a hybrid or EV. Launching later this year will be the i7 xDrive60 EV, which uses twin electric motors developing 537bhp and 549lb ft of torque, enabling a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds.
A 102kWh battery offers a range of up to 388 miles of range, while 195kW DC rapid charging capability means 106 miles of range can be added in just 10 minutes. A flagship i7 ‘M70’ version is also due in late 2023, with BMW promising up to 650bhp.
Earlier in 2023 the 7 Series line-up will grow to include a pair of plug-in hybrids – a 483bhp 750e xDrive model and a 563bhp M760e xDrive version, with a larger battery able to unlock an electric range of ‘over 50 miles’ – twice that of the outgoing car.
The new 7 Series and i7 will be offered in the choice of Excellence and M Sport trim levels, with first deliveries of the electric i7 set to begin in December 2022. Prices for the i7 xDrive60 will start at £107,400.