BMW’s new 7 Series is a seriously ICEd out limo
No more dark shadowy images or sneak peeks, no more guesswork and speculation. This is the brand new 7th generation BMW 7 Series. And it is by far the most outlandish and most technologically advanced vehicle in the 7 Series’ 45-year history, if not the most advanced car in BMW's range.
We’ve seen glimpses of the face of the new 7er and we’ve known weeks ago that it’d come with an illuminated grille surround (which may not be legal when the car arrives in Singapore) and stacked headlamps like we saw earlier this month on the LCI-ed X7 SUV.
Now that we have a full unencumbered view of the car, we can see that the new 7 adopts a very traditional three-box sedan silhouette that harks back to the E38 and E32 generation 7 Series models of the late eighties and nineties. Especially in the rear quarter.
The glittery DRLs have Swarovski crystals in them, the massive grilles have aero flaps in them to regulate airflow, the traditional Hofmeister Kink has a much sharper ‘kink” that runs parallel with the C pillar and the car also gets the aero-optimised recessed door handles like in the iX. Tick the option for the M-Sport look, and you get marginally reworked front and rear bumpers as well as more gloss black fixtures. But the polarising look of the car overshadows these sportier traits.
Divisive looks? Sure, but we'll leave it up to you to decide if you like it or not.
Inside, the new 7 Series’ 12.3-inch infotainment screen and 14.9-inch gauge cluster are housed within the same BMW curved display that is now standard fit on the i4 Gran Coupe and 2 Series Active Tourer. Like those other cars, it also runs on BMW’s Operating System 8 software that comes with a new “My Modes” theme setting, which alters several of the vehicle functions to either soothe or invigorate drivers. The car also comes with the same lovely crystal fixtures for the iDrive controls and seat buttons, like the iX.
One of the coolest bits about the car’s interior is the new illuminated Interaction Bar which spans across the dashboard and houses some of the HVAC controls, memory seat settings and the buttons to open or close the doors automatically. Yes, like a Rolls Royce, you can open and close the doors with the push of a button.
In the rear, the 7 Series comes fitted with Touch Command control units, which are essentially 5.5-inch screens set into the rear door cards that allow passengers to control some of the OS 8’s numerous features.
And of course, who could forget the massive 31-inch Theatre Screen that descends down from the roof to give rear occupants the best cinematic experience short of a Drive-In Cinema. Put all of the car's numerous screens together, and you’re looking at a total combined expanse that could have Mercedes’ hyperscreen beat.
So the new 7 is festooned with crystalline elements, tech features, sheer opulence and completely utterly ICE-ed out. And yes, the latter phrase isn’t just a euphemism for bling and diamonds.
At launch, the frontrunner halo car of the new 7 Series range will be the i7 xDrive60 model and yes, that will be a fully-electric luxury sedan set to take the fight to the other EV luxe limos from Stuttgart, Austin and Newark. Underpinning this new i7 is a 101.7kW battery pack with two motors that produce a total of 544 horsepower and 745Nm of torque. According to BMW, the i7 xDrive60 does 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds, tops out at 240km/h and has a quoted range of 590 to 625km on WLTP test cycles.
Of course, the i7’s drivetrain and motors utilise BMW’s 5th generation eDrive tech, which we’ve tested in both the BMW iX and BMW iX3 crossovers. In time to come, there’ll also be an i7 M70 with 660 horsepower to satiate the appetites of BMW M aficionados.
But if owning an EV isn’t your thing, the 7 Series has several engine options for you to choose from, all coming with a 48V mild hybrid system. The top spec ICE car, the 760i xDrive, has a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 that produces 544 horsepower and 750Nm of torque. Very similar power figures to the i7 xDrive60 then, but its 2270kg kerb weight is some 370kg less than its EV counterpart. The V8 powered 7er does 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds and has a marginally higher top speed of 250km/h.
Alternatively, there are also straight-six engined versions of the 7 Series coming in the form of the 740i and 735i with power figures of 380hp/540Nm and 286hp/425Nm respectively. In Singapore, we should expect to see the i7 xDrive60, 760i and 740i models when they enter our market in Q4 2022.
Come 2023, two PHEV powertrains with 3.0-litre straight-six engines will enter the fray. These include a 750e xDrive model with 490 horsepower and an M760e xDrive that produces 571 horsepower (on hybrid boost). Though we suspect the 740i will be the more popular choice among buyers here in Singapore.