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BMW’s eye-opening new 7 Series debuts with electric i7 flagship

Derryn Wong
20/04/2022

BMW’s 7 Series charges into the electric age with new flagship, fully electrified model lineup, massive rear entertainment screen. Expected Q4 2022 Singapore launch


Munich, Germany – 
BMW has revealed the next iteration of its flagship luxury limousine, with the seventh-generation of the 7 Series. For the first time in 7 Series history, it will be spearheaded by a fully electric model, the i7, and the car will come with autonomous driving capabilities.

A big emphasis on digital entertainment takes pride of place in the rear of the 7 Series – a popular chauffeur driven model – with the debut of a huge 31-inch BMW Theatre Screen which can pipe in streaming video service from Amazon.

BMW i7 with the 31-inch Theatre Screen in the rear compartment

Unsurprisingly, the new 7 Series has a fully electrified lineup, with all models – i7 aside – featuring petrol-electric mild or plug-in hybrid technology. The 7 Series will be coming to Singapore as mild hybrid petrol models, the 740i xDrive and 760i xDrive, along with the electric i7 xDrive60, with a planned launch towards the end of Q4 2022.

Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Customer, Brands, Sales with the BMW i7

​​As BMW’s traditional flagship, the new 7 Series and i7 shows “how far BMW has come with our technological approach,” said Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Customer, Brands, Sales. “When it comes to technology this car has everything that a car can possibly have. It’s a masterpiece of engineering and ahead of its time, and it lays the foundation for our push into the luxury segment.”

Dimensions and Design : Raise A New Flag

The G70 7 Series runs on an ‘all-new platform’ designed for electrified gasoline drivetrains. The new car will have one wheelbase offering, instead of the previous short- and long-wheelbase versions.

The car is significantly longer and taller at 5,391mm long (up by 130mm), and 1,544mm tall (51mm). It’s also 1,950mm wide, a 48mm increase. The increase in height improves headroom considerably – you need to stoop less to get into the car. This height increase is also partially due to the i7 electric version, with EVs requiring taller overall height to package the batteries – in this case the battery cell alone for the i7 is 110mm tall.

The new car’s design marks a big departure from the previous 7 Series, though shades of the iX EV – which kicked off BMW’s new electric era – shine through quite clearly. The tall kidney grille is an obvious new BMW signature, though it has a dramatic new LED light frame to one-up the current lightbar fad. It looks cool in the flesh, though we hear that this feature may not pass the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) approval for Singapore.

Another thing very obvious in person is just how tall and upright the car is, if not for the rounded edges it would look square-tall like a Rolls-Royce. A novel styling approach are the stacked headlights, with LED running light strips above the main beams. The ‘DRLs’ aren’t just running lights though – they are ‘BMW crystal headlights Iconic Glow’ which have Swarovski crystals backlit by LEDs for a subtle, constantly glimmering look. Around the rear are thin taillamps as seen since the BMW X4. All of the 7 Series models have hidden tailpipes, except for the performance-oriented M760e xDrive which has quadruple tailpipes.

The i7 shown here will, like the iX and i4, be offered in standard ‘i’ styling. Petrol versions will have the option of an M Sport package that adds an M body kit and 20-inch wheels. There’s also an M sport package Pro which gives 21-inch wheels, dark M aerodynamic wheels.

Drivetrain: From combustion to electric

BMW 735iBMW 740i BMW 760i xDriveBMW i7 xDrive60BMW i7 M70
Engine3.0-litre inline 6 turbocharged3.0-litre inline 6 turbocharged4.4-litre V8, turbochargedNoneNone
Engine Power / Torque286hp
400Nm
380hp
520Nm
544hp
750Nm
Motor18hp / 200Nm18hp / 200Nm18hp / 200NmDual electric motor 258hp front, 313hp rearDual Electric Motor 
System Power/torque286hp/425Nm380hp / 540Nm544hp / 750Nm544hp / 745Nm660hp / Not quoted
DrivetrainMild hybridMild hybridMild hybridFull electricFull electric
0-100km/h6.7 seconds5.4 seconds4.2 seconds4.7 seconds3.7 seconds*
Top Speed250km/h250km/h250km/h240km/h240km/h*
Efficiency7.9L/100km7.5L/100km11.2L/100km18.4kWh/100km23.8kWh/100km
E-Range590 to 625kmNot quoted

Nowhere is the need for emissions reduction needed more than in large, luxury limos like the 7 Series, so it’s no surprise that no version of the new 7 Series isn’t electrified.

There’s a diesel model, the 740d xDrive, but that is very unlikely to come to Singapore. There are two gasoline mild-hybrid models – the 740i and 760i – which are confirmed for Singapore, along with the i7 fully-electric model.

4.4-litre V8 from the 760i non-PHEV model

Internationally, there are two plug-in hybrid models (PHEVs), the 750e xDrive and high-performance M760e xDrive, but these are not coming to Singapore. Notably, we see that the 7 Series will have no 12-cylinder model for the first time, with the previous M760Li packing a 6.0-litre turbo V12 now evolved into the M760e PHEV which has a 3.0-litre inline six.

All across the board we see the 7 Series has improved efficiency thanks to the application of electrification. The i7 will be offered as an xDrive60 model, which has a dual motor setup and capable of quick performance. Interestingly its top speed, 240km/h, is quite high for an EV. The battery capacity is quoted at 101.7kWh, and BMW claims an estimated WLTP range of 590 to 625km. A high-performance i7 M70 with 660hp is confirmed and will be revealed later this year.


The i7’s chief rival – the Mercedes-EQ EQS popped up early in Singapore. Kim shows you its 56-inch Hyperscreen

The i7 uses 400V electrical architecture, since it’s based on BMW’s very efficient fifth-gen drive tech, which allows fast charging at rates of up to 195kW. Regular charging is done at 11kW, which means around 10 hours for a full charge at home, and 31 minutes for a 10 to 80 percent charge at the maximum DC fast charge rate.

The larger footprint is supposed to help further the agility of the 7 Series, which has traditionally been the best-driving luxury limo. BMW also claims that a stiffer body with wider tracks (+47mm front +4mm rear), larger wheels with wider rubber, an improved suspension setup, all improve lateral dynamics. This time around, all-wheel steer aka Integral Active Steering as standard, as is adaptive air suspension. There’s also Executive Drive Pro, a 48V powered electric roll control system for improved cornering comfort and poise.

Page 2: Why the new 7 Series is – literally – the most cinematic car ever made



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Tags:

7 Series 735i 740i 760i bmw electric i7 Luxury limousine

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism, previously being the editor of Top Gear Singapore, a presenter for CNA, contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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