“The BMW Seven Series” enters a new era for itself not only with a radically redesigned face, but also with a different set of modifications. The company has refused from short wheelbase version and from a flagship motor V12, and at the same time has reduced the immense list of options, having included many positions to basic equipment. But now there is an electric car with separate index BMW i7.
The new design of the front part has already shown us in the show car BMW Concept XM and the updated crossover BMW X7, so, the “seven” has not surprised. Upper eyebrows serve as running lights, parking lights and turn signals: diode strips on each side are divided into two parts, imitating the former “four-eyes”, and for an extra fee they can be decorated with Swarovski crystals. The main headlights (matrix already in the base) are located below and have tinted glass. Separate fog lights are no longer available, they are replaced by a special mode of the main headlights.
Alas, the company did not return to the lightweight silhouettes of the early “sevens” E32 and E38. The new seventh-generation sedan with a code G70 has a heavy body shape with almost flat sides and a massive rear part. The door handles are now recessed, but the Hoffmeister curve is retained. The side glazing looks “cleaner” because all the seals are hidden from view and the vertical lintels in the rear doors are covered by glass. The aerodynamic drag coefficient Cd is reduced from 0.27 in the previous model to 0.26.
Henceforth the “Seven” is offered with a single wheelbase length of 3215 mm. This is 5 mm more than the long version of the outgoing generation, and a symbolic 1 mm less than the Mercedes S-Class. Compared to the old sedan length increased by 131 mm (to 5391 mm), width increased by 48 mm (now 1950 mm), and in addition “Seven” became at once 77 mm higher (now 1544 mm). The trunk volume is increased from 515 to 540 liters, but the fuel tank is reduced from 78 to 74 liters.
The electric BMW i7 differs from the “sevens” with internal combustion engines only by the fine decoration, nameplates and the shape of the rear bumper. A different duct system and a flat underbody have reduced the Cd ratio to 0.24. And because of the electric drive units of the rear axle, the volume of the trunk is reduced to 500 liters.
The CLAR platform has not changed fundamentally: double trailing arms in the front, five-lever in the rear, the basic chassis with adaptive air suspension. Adaptive steering mechanism and active anti-roll bars, which work from the 48-volt electrical power supply are offered for extra charge. You can choose wheels with a diameter of 19 to 22 inches. M Sport and M Sport Pro packages with more aggressive bodykit, different suspension tuning and reinforced brakes are ready at once.
Not less revolution, than with a face of the car has taken place with an interior. By the level of minimalism in interior’s design, the “Seven” confidently argues with the current S-Class. BMW switches to a media system with the OS8 shell – and to a single panel with two screens. This solution first appeared on the company’s electric cars, and is now spreading across the entire lineup.
The 7-Series sedan has a 12.3-inch dash screen, a 14.9-inch multimedia touchscreen and a projection display. There is no separate climate control panel anymore, control is integrated into the media system. And ventilation deflectors are hidden from eyes in the manner of Tesla. The control of air streams and overlapping of deflectors is entrusted to sensor strips which are built in the BMW Interaction Bar – a light strip which extends all the width of the forward panel and comes in doors.
The steering wheel can have three or two spokes. Remote controls for electric seats are now located on the doors. And the seats in the basic package have the Veganza covering made of high quality leatherette with perforations. At extra charge – real leather or a combination of leather and wool fabric. Also included in the basic equipment is four-zone climate control, heated armrests (not to mention the seats) and a panoramic sunroof (without the sliding section). A new option is the servo door drive.
BMW is abandoning the traditional solution with two monitors attached to the rear of the front seats. Instead, the rear passengers now have a BMW Theatre Screen – a 31-inch flip-down screen with 8K resolution mounted on the ceiling. Instead of the standard rear seat, you can order seats with adjustment, ventilation and massage (nine modes).
The most luxurious is the Executive Lounge package. In this case, the seat can be made almost a lounger, and folding footrests are connected to the cushions seamlessly and have a single surface, and the tilt of the backs is adjustable in a wide range. There are 5.5-inch touch-screens in the doors to control the seats and climate control.
There are three pure petrol versions, but they won’t be sold in Europe. The key markets for them are America and China. All cars have a 48-volt starter-generator, which is integrated into the eight-speed automatic. It produces 18 hp and 200 Nm, helping in the first seconds of acceleration, and also works as part of the start-stop system. The battery is installed in the luggage compartment.
The entry-level BMW 735i sedan has an inline turbo 3.0 (272 hp, 400 Nm) and rear-wheel drive, and with starter-generator assistance, the combined output reaches 300 hp and 425 Nm. One step up is the BMW 740i with the same engine boosted to 380 hp and 520 Nm. Combined with a starter-generator, the maximum torque reaches 540 Nm, but it does not affect the power.
The all-wheel drive sedan BMW 760i xDrive is equipped with V8 4.4 biturbo engine (544 hp, 750 Nm), and in its case, the hybrid addition does not affect on utmost efficiency. By the way, if to compare with the previous version BMW 750Li xDrive, which had the same V8 motor (but 530 hp), the new has become 250 kg heavier at once! Curb weight is 2270 kg. Therefore, acceleration time up to a “hundred” has increased from 4.1 to 4.2 seconds.
A different set of modifications is designed for Europe. The BMW 740d xDrive with a six-cylinder 3.0 biturbo diesel (286 hp, 650 Nm) and all-wheel drive will be the base model here. Including the starter-generator, the output reaches 300 hp and 670 Nm. No other diesel versions are available, but two plug-in hybrids have been announced, though data on them is still incomplete. They have a six-cylinder gasoline turbo engine and a built-in “automatic” electric motor with 200 hp and 280 Nm, and a full battery charge should be enough for 80 kilometers of travel in electric mode, which allows acceleration up to 140 km / h. In the BMW 750e xDrive model, the gasoline engine produces 310 hp and 450 Nm, and the combined system output is 490 hp and 700 Nm. The BMW M760e xDrive version has an ICE with 380 hp and 520 Nm, and as a result, the hybrid system develops 571 hp and 800 Nm. Such hybrid will be able to reach a “hundred” in 4.3 seconds.
BMW i7 electric car is offered only in one version xDrive60. The power of the front electric motor is 258 hp, the rear one – 313 hp, and they have different gear ratios. The total output of the system is 544 hp and 745 Nm. The electrical system works with 376 volts, located under the floor of the cabin traction battery with a capacity of 101.7 kW∙h should provide a range of 590 km on the cycle WLTP.
The onboard AC charger is rated at 11 kW. The DC charger supports up to 195 kW, in which case the battery can be charged from 10% to 80% in 34 minutes. The sedan with a curb weight of 2,640 kg can accelerate to 100 km/h in 4.7 s, the top speed is limited at 240 km/h. But in 2023 there will be a more powerful and faster BMW i7 M70 xDrive (660 hp) electric car.
What else? All sevens have adaptive cruise control and all the necessary “hardware” for the third level of autopilot, although its software part is not ready yet and will be available later as an update. In 2023, there will be a car parker, which can be controlled remotely from the application on your smartphone: it allows you to turn the steering wheel and switch between forward and reverse. In addition, the car parker can reverse the last 200 meters of the path to leave a tight parking lot (of course, if the sensors do not detect new obstacles). Finally, the BMW i7 electric sedans have a “soundtrack” that is not so much for the driver as for the surrounding pedestrians. German composer Hans Zimmer, known for his film music, worked on the soundtrack.
Sales of the new generation of Seven Series will not start until November of this year, although orders can already be placed. All varieties of sedan will be produced in one plant in Dingolfing. In 2023 the armored version should appear. But if now the “seven” of departing generation in Germany costs from 99 thousand euro, the new model even in base version with a diesel engine is evaluated in 107 thousand euro. And they ask at least 136 thousand euro for electric BMW i7.