The redesigned BMW 7 Series made its official global debut Wednesday, introducing futuristic exterior styling to the full-size luxury sedan, along with an exciting new battery-electric i7 model variant.
BMW is able to utilize both internal combustion engine and battery-electric powertrains in this latest iteration of the 7 Series thanks to its new highly flexible vehicle platform. The automaker will offer gasoline, diesel, mild hybrid, and plug-in hybrid variants of the 7 Series globally, allowing it to cater to customers’ needs whether they desire twin-turbocharged V8 performance, battery-electric silence, or something in between. This platform also integrates standard air suspension with automatic self-levelling, as well as adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers, which will be standard equipment across all trim levels.
In Canada, the BMW 7 Series will launch in two trim levels: The 760i xDrive and the electric i7 xDrive 60. Let’s first focus on the electric model, which is the first battery-powered 7 Series in history. Motivation in this 7 Series variant will come from a dual-motor, all-wheel drive setup producing 536 horsepower and 549 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in about 4.7 seconds. BMW estimates this variant will have an EPA-certified range of 482 kilometres (300 miles) thanks to its rather large 101.7 kWh battery pack.
Arriving alongside the battery-electric will be the 760i xDrive, which is powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 with a 48V mild-hybrid system integrated into its eight-speed automatic transmission. BMW says this mild-hybrid powertrain is good for 536 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque and will enable the 5,391mm-long sedan to hustle from zero to 100 km/h in about 4.2 seconds.
Moving inside, a widescreen infotainment display sits front and center, integrating a 12.3-inch information display behind the steering wheel and a 14.9-inch infotainment display screen in the middle of the dash, which sit underneath a shared glass surface. The BMW Digital Cockpit heads-up display is also standard, which features an augmented reality view that can “project” objects onto the road in the driver’s line of sight.
It's the rear seat passengers that are truly levelling up with the introduction of this latest 7 Series, however. The available 31.1-inch BMW Theater Screen system allows back seat passengers to watch movies or YouTube videos, play games, listen to music and more from the comfort of the two back seats. Each of the two rear doors will also feature a 5.5-inch digital touchscreen display, which the passengers can use to control the large overhead display. This theatre-like experience is further enhanced by the standard 18-speaker Bowers and Wilkens sound system, or the optional 32-speaker version of the system. Powered automatic doors that can open and close at the push of a button also ensure easy entry and exit for both front and rear-seat passengers.
Completing the package is a long list of active safety features, including an available hands-free highway drive assist system, which allows the driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel on the highway at speeds of up to 130 km/h. Other active safety features include automated/remote control parking assist, front and rear automatic brake assist, lane keep assist, and much more.
The new BMW 7 Series, including the battery-electric BMW i7 variant, will go on sale in Canada in the fourth quarter of this year.