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2023 BMW i7: Technologically Advanced but Visually Challenging

2023 BMW i7: Technologically Advanced but Visually Challenging

Maybe it'll look better in black?

  • BMW-estimated range of 300 miles
  • Three years of free charging on the Electrify America network
  • Optional Highway Assistant allows for hand-free driving
  • Kicks off the first i7 generation for 2023

What is the BMW i7?

The 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 is the all-electric equivalent of the full-size and gasoline-powered 7 Series luxury sedan that debuted alongside it. A new generation of this flagship is big news on its own and adding an EV option makes these debuts even more significant. While the traditional 7 Series draws power from mild hybrid six- or eight-cylinder engines, the i7 comes with a battery pack with 101.7 kWh of usable power and two electric motors driving the front and rear axles for all-wheel drive.

Combined output is 536 horsepower and 549 lb-ft of torque, which is strong enough to accelerate the i7 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. BMW estimates the big sedan will travel up to 300 miles on a full charge. Speaking of charging, the i7 is capable of 195-kW DC fast charging, which should enable it to replenish up to 80 miles of range in only 10 minutes. As a plus, free charging will be available at Electrify America stations for the first three years of ownership.

2023 BMW I7.

2023 BMW I7.

Why does it matter?

We're finally at a point where electrification seems inevitable. With some states and countries mandating the transition away from fossil fuels by 2030, now is the time to get serious about EVs. The i7 is an important step for BMW because it showcases the company's current capabilities in batteries and technology.

2023 BMW I7.

2023 BMW I7.

What does it compete with?

The Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan is as direct a competitor as you'll find for the BMW i7. Both represent all-electric versions of traditional gas-powered luxury flagships and showcase all of the latest technological innovations. Unlike the Benz, which has a more affordable EQS 450+ rear-wheel-drive base model available, the i7 will only be offered as the all-wheel-drive xDrive60. It starts at $120,295 and is priced similarly to the upgraded EQS 580 4Matic.

Features are also similar between the two, with adaptive air suspensions, four-wheel steering, head-up displays with augmented reality overlays, and self-parking systems. All are available as standard or optional equipment. BMW's iDrive infotainment system also receives some upgrades to challenge Mercedes' praiseworthy MBUX system.

BMW will also debut its Highway Assistant automated driving system, which will allow for hands-free driving on select divided highways at up to 80 mph. Like Mercedes' Drive Pilot system, the driver must still keep his or her eyes on the road and be ready to take over driving at a moment's notice. Highway Assist comes as part of the optional Driving Assistance Professional package. BMW is also touting its massive 31-inch rear-seat entertainment screen that features Amazon Fire TV and 8K resolution.

2023 BMW I7.

2023 BMW I7.

Edmunds says

If history serves as a guide, the BMW i7 will be a slightly sportier alternative to the luxurious Mercedes EQS sedan. If that big honkin' grille hasn't deterred you, preorders are open now.